Asian Markets Listless, UK Blast Overshadows Trade
- Asian stock markets put in a mixed, slow performance in a trading session overshadowed by suspected terrorism in the UK
- The Pound slipped a little against the Yen
- Local Data cast some doubt on the likely endurance of Japan’s recovery
Asian shares were mixed Tuesday in a day of torpid general trade, overshadowed of course by news of a deadly blast in the UK city of Manchester which is suspected to have been a terror attack.
The Nikkei closed down 0.3%, with Australia’s ASX off 0.2%. Mainland Chinese shares also wilted, but indexes in Hong Kong and South Korea were in the green. Wall Street provided quite a strong lead but local economic data were again sparse. It included worrying news that Japan’s recovery may have faltered in March. A second official look at German first-quarter Gross Domestic Product growth revealed an as-expected 1.7% annualized gain.
The UK Pound sagged against the Yen following news of the Manchester blast. Meanwhile the Euro hovered near six-month highs against the US Dollar, after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier that the single currency was too “weak.”
Crude oil prices went almost nowhere through the session, with both the US benchmark and international Brent adding about three cents the barrel. Investors are reportedly hopeful that production cuts will be extended, but worries about a broader economic slowdown are counteracting this. Gold prices were steady too, once again, even if they made little further progress, as the US Dollar weakened against the Euro.
The rest of the session will offer various Euroepan Purchasing Managers Indexes along with the latest news of UK public finances. PMI data are also due from the US, along with new home sales numbers. Investors will also hear from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari.
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--- 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.