ASIAN STOCKS TALKING POINTS
- Asian stocks were mostly lower
- Trade worries resurfaced after a couple of days’ optimism
- The US Dollar was lower against the Yen as Federal Reserve policy minutes approached
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Asian stocks were broadly weaker Wednesday afternoon with trade worries back to the fore once again.
During Tuesday’s North American trading session President Donald Trump declared himself dissatisfied with bilateral talks between Washington and Beijing, putting a damper on hopes that the trade relationship might be resolved shortly. Trump called talks a ‘start’ to working out the imbalance between the two countries.
The US Dollar also weakened a little against the Japanese Yen which is usually a sight the Nikkei 225 benchmark takes badly. It certainly slipped on Wednesday, and was down more than 1.1% as the Tokyo close loomed. All other major indexes were lower, too, if not by as much. The Shanghai Composite shed 0.8% with the Hang Seng down by a similar amount. The ASX 200 was lower but only by a whisker, while the Kospi managed very slight gains.
However, the US currency stabilized a little after the retreat of the last couple of days. Investors are looking ahead to the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last monetary policy meeting. They seem likely to underline the central bank’s position as the most aggressive interest-rate raiser around and could support the Dollar if so. The minutes will be released early Thursday Asia Pacific time. The Australian Dollar took a hit following some underwhelming construction-sector data.
AUD/USD has slipped back toward its previous daily-chart range, although it remains comfortably above its previously dominant downtrend.
The Turkish Lira made new record lows against the US currency. Markets remain highly concerned about the economic programme of Turkish President Erdogan, who wants to take more control.
Gold prices were steady as those Fed minutes approached, but they remain close to key support. Crude oil prices slipped back after their recent rally.
Still to come Wednesday are plentiful Purchasing Managers Index numbers from around Europe and the US. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe will speak in Sydney and UK Consumer Price Index figures are also coming.
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— Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
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