Asian Stocks Mixed, Chinese Names Pressured. ECB Meet Looms

Talking Points:

  • Asian stocks ended Thursday mixed
  • Chinese and Australian names wilted while the Nikkei and Kospi headed higher
  • The US Dollar remains very firm

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Asian stocks put in a decidedly mixed showing on Thursday. On one hand the Nikkei 225 made gains as a rising US Dollar cheered its many export titans. However Chinese and, to a lesser extent, Australian markets were lower, reportedly as trade war worries weighed on them despite a lack of obvious bad news from this direction.

The Nikkei 225 was up 0.47% at the close, with the ASX 200 down 0.2%. Both the Shanghai and Hong Kong mainboards more than 1% lower as their own finish lines loomed. South Korea’s Kospi was a standout gainer, boosted by earnings from local hero Samsung, which broadly pleased investors.

Technically speaking Japan’s benchmark stock index remains in a quite robust uptrend but there are signs that momentum is petering out before key resistance.

The US Dollar was higher once more against a basket of its most widely traded rivals, with rising US Treasury yields still helping. Its strength capped non-yielding gold’s price yet again while crude oil prices got a small lift despite Wednesday’s news of rising US stockpiles.

Thursday’s focus in European time will be on the European Central Bank’s monetary policy meeting. No change is expected to the policy settings but markets are keen to see whether recent, weaker Eurozone economic numbers have blunted ECB appetite for rate hikes down the track.

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— Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

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