Most Asian Stocks Resillient As US Dollar Stays Up
- Many Asian stocks managed gains despite rising geopolitical uncertainties
- The US Dollar rose too, staying near three-week highs against its widely-traded peers
- Markets have been dogged despte last week’s disappointing US labor numbers
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Despite ongoing worries about further US military intervention in Syria, most Asian bourses were higher on Monday.
Stocks climbed in both Australia and Japan, although South Korea’s Kospi slipped. The day was Asian investors’ first opportunity to react to Friday’s official US labor statistics, which had been weaker than expected. While admitting the report's disappointments, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said that the numbers were still consistent with the US economy growing by more than 2% this year.
He was speaking in Melbourne, Australia. In any case the US Dollar was stronger against the Japanese Yen, a sight which almost always does the exporter-heavy Nikkei some good. The equity benchmark was up 0.7% at the close, topping a mixed Asian session which saw Chinese stocks out of puff.
The greenback stayed-near three-week highs following Friday’s commentary from New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley. He said that the central bank need not pause its rate-hiking cycle for long in order to shrink its vast balance sheet, calming worries of a longer hiatus. The Australian Dollar took a little knock on news that home loans had fallen in its home country, although it’s far from clear that a central bank concerned with private debt levels will be overly worried by this.
Crude oil prices were firm Monday, supported by increased geopolitical uncertainy in the Middle East. Last week’s report of a rise in US shale drilling activity has reportedly kept gains in check though, with both US crude and international benchmark Brent up by about 20 cents per barrel. Gold prices crept down from 5-week highs hit in the wake of the US’ surprise strikes on Syria Friday.
The rest of the global session offers Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaking in Michigan, European Central Bank Vice President Vitor Constancio speaking in Brussels, and the US labor market condition change survey.
--- 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.