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Most Asian Stocks Hold Up, Markets Eye Looming Fed Meet

Most Asian Stocks Hold Up, Markets Eye Looming Fed Meet

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points:

  • Most Asian markets scored gains, with only the Nikkei down among the majors
  • It didn’t slip far however, losing just 0.05%
  • Investors are increasingly fixated on the US Federal Reserve and its June policy conclave

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Most Asian stock markets managed small gains Tuesday despite ongoing pressure on US tech stocks in the previous session.

Caution still appears to reign, however, as well it might with a two-day US Federal Reserve monetary-policy meeting kicking off later. It's expected to result in another, quarter-percentage-point interest-rate rise. The Nikkei 225 ended down by a whisker, losing just 0.01%. Australia’s ASX 200 added 1.2% as markets there reopened after Monday’s holiday break. Other regional markets were up, by about 0.5% apiece.

The US Dollar was broadly steady against Asian currencies. However it rose once more against a British Pound still dealing with election fallout. The Canadian Dollar meanwhile managed its highest level against its US cousin for nearly two months on Tuesday, lifted by hawkish commentary from the Bank of Canada on Monday. Local economic numbers didn’t have much currency impact. Sentiment at large Japanese businesses hit lows not seen for a year according to official figures. Australian confidence slipped back too but it remains at comparatively high levels and surveyors at National Australia Bank said business overall was still upbeat.

Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn Wilkins said that first-quarter growth had been “pretty impressive” and that the central bank would in consequence consider whether current low rates are still needed.

Gold prices went nowhere through the Asian session, gaining a little less than 0.1% per ounce. Crude oil added about 12 cents/barrel on news that Saudi Arabia was making significant supply cuts to major consumers. However still-rising US output levels are ensuring the endurance of high overall supply levels.

The rest of the global session offers plentiful economic data. From the UK will come consumer-price and retail-sales numbers. There’ll also be Germany’s ZEW sentiment survey and US producer prices.

--- 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.