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Talking Points

  • Another day, another mixed session for Asia
  • Markets are looking to this week’s rash of central bank speakers with Janet Yellen up front
  • The Dollar rose against the Yen on hopes that she’ll remain optimistic. China Premier Li Keqiang did in comments earlier

Check out the trading community’s view on Asia/Pacific currencies at the DailyFX sentiment page

Asian stock markets were mixed yet again on Tuesday as oil prices rose again and investors kept an eye out for central bank speeches.

The US Dollar hit its highest level in nearly five weeks against the Japanese Yen as markets anticipated comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen who will speak in London later. They’re reportedly expected to underline her modestly upbeat view of US economic prospects, despite patchier recent data.

The Nikkei 225 rose 0.4%, with Australia’s ASX 200 down 0.3%, still managing to finish off its lows. Chinese markets were more mixed as investors digested a combative speech from Premier Li Keqiang. He promised more reform to make access to Chinese markets easier for foreign firms and, in familiar theme, urged the world not to abandon globalization. The Australian Dollar often reacts to China news and investors in it seemed to like what they heard from Li.

Crude prices managed a rare fourth straight day of gains with main benchmarks adding about 12 cents/barrel. The market remains under severe oversupply pressure but there seemed to be some sense that it had suffered enough for the moment. Gold prices were steady for much of the session despite a weakening US Dollar. However they rose as European trade got under way, without any clear catalyst for the move.

Aside from that Yellen speech Tuesday will bring commentary from other top central bankers. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney will speak at the Financial Stability Report press conference in London while Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari will talk in Michigan. The day’s data focus will be on the US, with consumer confidence figures due along with Case Shiller housing numbers. The Conference Board’s ‘present situation’ report is also due.

Contact and follow David on Twitter: @DavidCottleFX

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research