Most Asian Stocks Gain As Oil Price Rise Lifts Energy Names
- Asian stocks got an oil-price-related boost
- Lower US fuel stocks and a reduction in Saudi supply to the region sent crude prices up
- The New Zealand Dollar took a hit after its central bank stood pat
What will decide Asian Markets’ fortunes though to mid-year? Check out the DailyFX Forecasts
Most Asian indexes gained Thursday as stronger oil prices boosted the region’s energy-linked names. Gains came despite a mixed US lead as investors kept an eye on Washington DC after President Donald Trump’s firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey.
The Nikkei 225 ended up 0.2%, as did Australia’s ASX 200. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.7%. Chinese markets were more mixed with Hong Kong higher but mainland stocks inched up into the close, after spending most of the session lower, reportedly as investors felt better about global trade prospects.
The day’s data from Japan painted a familiar picture of quite vigorous export strength, but investors remain leery of inflation’s chances of meeting the Bank of Japan’s target anytime soon.
In the currency markets the New Zealand Dollar got a surprisingly vehement kicking after its home central bank left interest rates on hold at record lows. This was widely expected but some in the markets were clearly looking for a more hawkish outlook from the central bank which, in the event, kept its assessment cautious and virtually unchanged from April.
The US Dollar was broadly softer on the session, if not by much, with the Dollar index stepping back after four straight sessions of gains. Crude oil prices rose again as a fall in US fuel inventories and a larger-than-expected cut in Saudi supplies to Asia put a floor under the market. Gold prices moved up to hold just above Tuesday’s eight-week lows.
There is plenty of economic meat left on the global session’s bones, much of it with a UK flavor. Thursday will bring the Bank of England’s monetary policy decision, along with official trade and manufacturing data. Swiss consumer prices are also due, along with US initial jobless claim numbers and Canadian housing cost numbers.
--- 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.