Asian Stock Markets Mixed, Narrow As Battered Oil Prices Steady
- Oil prices steadied Friday but are on course for a terrible first half of the year
- Chinese regulators sowed disquiet by asking banks to review exposure to certain firms
- The Dollar barely moved and the Japanese Yen was resilient in the face of some patchy manufacturing data
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Asian markets were short of ideas Friday, trading narrowly despite a small pickup for oil prices and reports that China’s regulator was looking into certain local companies’ overseas purchases. Media reports said that the authority had asked banks to review their exposure to Chinese firms involved in large overseas acquisitions in the past few years.
Still, the Nikkei 225 ended the session up 0.1%, with Australia’s ASX 200 gaining by a similar amount. The Shanghai Composite was down 0.7%, with small gains seen for Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and South Korea’s Kospi.
In the currency space, the US Dollar didn’t get far either way on Friday. The market was reportedly looking ahead to next week’s quite plentiful Stateside economic data. However, commodity-linked currencies such as the Canadian Dollar held on to recent gains. In a somewhat becalmed market, with half an eye on the end of the year’s first half, the Japanese Yen proved resilient to news of surprise weakness in local manufacturing.
Crude oil prices steadied- after hitting ten-month lows in the middle of this week. They are still headed for their weakest first-half performance for any year in the past twenty though. Investors seem increasingly to doubt that producers can get a firm grip on the market’s now well entrenched over-supply. Gold prices barely moved through Friday’s Asian trade but nevertheless the oldest haven of all looks set for a third straight weekly fall.
The rest of the global trading session will see the release of various Purchasing Managers Indexes from around Europe and, indeed, from the Eurozone itself. These timely economic indicators are always a trading favourite. US PMIs are also due, as is official Canadian consumer price data.
--- 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.