Asian Stock Markets Close Mixed As Oil Prices’ Struggle Goes On
- Asian stocks were mixed in another cautious session
- Oil prices were again to the fore. They slipped again, if not by the large amounts seen earlier this week
- The New Zealand Dollar got a boost despite an as-expected policy decision from its central bank
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Asian stock indexes closed out the session mixed Thursday after a cautious day which saw oil prices decline a little more.
The Nikkei 225 gave back some earlier green to end down, but only by 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi added 0.5%, while Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.7% with energy and raw material stocks creeping back a little from the former session’s heavy losses. Markets in China were down, just.
Crude oil prices relinquished some gains to trade lower into the close. Prices fell by more than 2% in Wednesday’s US trade, despite news that inventory levels had slipped, as investors continue to discount any meaningful change to the market’s chronic oversupply.
In the foreign exchange space, the US Dollar made small losses against its major trading rivals in an Asian day which offered little in the way of news. There was news for the New Zealand Dollar which rose to four-month highs after its home central bank left interest rates on hold at record lows. This was completely as expected but the accompanying statement was reportedly judged to have been more hawkish than its predecessor. The UK Pound managed modest gains, on more hawkish commentary Wednesday from Bank of England Chief Economist Andy Haldane. That easier US Dollar made life more comfortable for gold, which ticked up for a second straight Asian day.
The main economic data on tap for the rest of Thursday comprises Canadian retail sales, along with continuing jobless claims and house price snapshot from the US. Eurozone consumer confidence numbers will also be released, as will UK industrial trends survey from the Confederation of British Industry.
--- 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.