ASIAN STOCKS TALKING POINTS:
- Asian stocks were mostly a little higher Wednesday
- A strong Nasdaq showing helped
- Australian growth figures were impressive
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Asian stock markets traded mixed on Wednesday with a new record high for the Nasdaq in the previous session lifting confidence, although trade worries still weighed.
The Nikkei 225 was up by 0.4% as its close loomed, with most other regional indexes higher by a similar amount. The Shanghai Composite was the single significant bearish exception, but it was down by just 0.2%.
The session has been short of major impetus, leaving investors to mull over the possibility that trade relations between the US and the rest of the world could deteriorate further as the Trump White House seems keen to raise barriers. China has signaled that it remains open to talks despite US tariff threats, but negotiations between the US, Canada and Mexico are now apparently being considered on a bilateral basis, leaving question marks over their NAFTA partnership.
Those worries continue hit the Canadian Dollar and the Mexican peso, but the Euro was a little firmer against the US Dollar. The Australian Dollar rose sharply on news of better than expected growth in its home economy. However this seems unlikely to upset the market’ settled prognosis that Aussie interest rates will not be raised from their record lows anytime soon.
AUD/USD remains above its former trading range, but there must be question marks over its ability to consolidate there given that interest-rate differentials still so extravagantly favor the US Currency.
Gold prices edged a little higher through the Asian session but crude oil prices slipped back on news of higher US inventories.
Still to come Wednesday are Purchasing Mangers Index data from around Europe, Canada’s building permit figures, US trade numbers and yet more oil-stockpile information.
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— Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
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