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Asian Markets Gain As Investors Mull Fed Minutes, Look To OPEC

Asian Markets Gain As Investors Mull Fed Minutes, Look To OPEC

2017-05-25 07:34:00
David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points:

  • Asian markets had plenty of green to show for Thursday’s trade
  • Investors are digesting Wednesday’s Federal Reserve Policy minutes
  • Oil prices held steady ahead of what could be a key OPEC meet

Get live coverage of major Asia/Pacific market movers like Friday’s Japanese Consumer Price Index release with the DailyFX webinars

Asian stocks were mostly higher Thursday following the release of Federal Reserve monetary-policy meeting minutes in the preceding US session. Markets were also looking to a meeting of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries later which may see crude-oil production cuts extended.

Those minutes left markets still convinced that another interest-rate rise is coming next month, but they also reiterated the data-dependency of such a move and sowed a few doubts as to how many more increases might come. All major Asia/Pacific bourses ended in the green with the Nikkei up 0.4% and Australia’s ASX up by a similar amount. Chinese indexes rebounded more strongly, having been hit in the previous session by Moody’s shock downgrade of their home nation’s credit ratings.

US Dollar bulls didn’t enjoy those Fed minutes much, but the Asian session was quite relaxed with the greenback steady against the Japanese Yen and only a little weaker against the Euro.

Crude oil prices were higher ahead of that OPEC meeting which could see traditional producers extend their output curb into 2018, adding at least nine months to an initially agreed six-month slowdown. Both the US benchmark and international bellwether Brent are now up nearly 20% from their May lows, so there could be scope for disappointment if OPEC cannot agree. Gold prices held up, holding on to most of Wednesday’s gains. The chance of fewer US rate rises may be expected to bolster non-yielding assets such as the oldest haven.

The rest of the session offers UK Gross Domestic Product data,which may mean some Sterling risk, along with US trade numbers and initial jobless claims.

--- 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.