Asian Markets Mostly Down, Investors Digest Trump Emails
- Most Asian stocks were lower Wednesday, with the Hang Seng a notable exception
- The US Dollar continued to inch down too
- Investors await the Fed Chair’s take on the current US economic picture
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It was another mixed finish for Asian stocks Wednesday as investors digested a new twist in the tale of US President Donald Trump’s election trail and looked to Congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
The Nikkei slipped by 0.48%, largely thanks to a weaker US Dollar. Australia’s ASX slipped by 0.96% as financial sector falls outweighed raw-material gains. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng meanwhile managed to rise by 0.6%.
Earlier the Australian consumer confidence index from lender Westpac managed a modest rise after three months of falls, giving the Aussie Dollar a further lift. Japanese producer price data came in as expected, largely passing the Yen by. The US Dollar edged down to 14-month lows against the Euro in Wednesday’s Asian trade as investors fretted about emails released by President Trump’s oldest son suggesting he welcomed help from Russia in last year’s Presidential campaign. The UK Pound slipped as Bank of England Deputy Governor Ben Broadbent told local press it was too early for him to back higher UK interest rates.
Crude oil prices gained about 76 cents/barrel on news of lower US stocks and Tuesday’s lower official crude production forecast. Gold prices inched up for a third straight day, again mainly thanks to US Dollar weakness. The market remains in thrall to US monetary-policy expectations.
The remainder of the session will bring a Bank of Canada policy call, UK labor-market stats, Eurozone industrial production and US oil-inventory data. All that may struggle for traction amid the wait for Yellen though.
--- 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.