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Asian Stocks Rise on Wall Street's Trump-Speech Lead, Stronger USD

Asian Stocks Rise on Wall Street's Trump-Speech Lead, Stronger USD

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points

  • Most Asian stocks rose following Wall Street’s Wednesday surge
  • President Trumps’ speech to Congress may have been short on detail, but US investors clearly liked it
  • The US Dollar continued to gain as the markets eye a March interest rate increase

Asian stock markets were mostly higher Thursday, following on from Wall Street’s enthusiastic reception of US President Donald Trump’s speech to Congress.

Although the President offered very little detail, his talk of “massive” tax relief for the middle classes and vast infrastructure spending saw US mainboards power up to new record highs. Various Federal Reserve commentators have suggested this week that interest rates could soon be headed higher, which has seen markets more certain that there could be an increase in March. This view has continued to boost the US Dollar, something which Asian bourses tend to like.

The Nikkei was up about 1% in Tokyo in the middle of the afternoon session. Australia’s ASX 200 did better with banks doing especially well, as their New York peers had done the day before. Chinese mainland shares bucked the trend and slipped modestly, although Hong Kong stocks joined the risers.

Australian assets hit a bump in the road earlier. The country’s trade surplus for January came in much lower than the markets had expected. Still, the breakdown showed a sharp fall in exports, which may be down to the timing of Chinese New year rather than inherent weakness. China is the major export destination for Australian commodities.

The US Dollar inched up against most Asian currencies, with the trade-weighted Dollar Index up around 101.9, from 101.2 as the session started.

In the commodity markets, crude oil prices slipped a bit; Wednesday’s news of record US crude inventories didn’t help. The gold price slipped back too in the face of that stronger US Dollar.

Thursday’s European and North American market hours will offer investors an eclectic mix of potentially market-moving economic numbers. Investors will get a look at Eurozone consumer prices, Canadian Gross Domestic Product and US jobless claims.

Would you like to know more about trading the financial markets? The DailyFX trading guide is here to help.

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX

DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.