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Talking Points

  • Asian stocks were mixed and slightly listless as the week bowed out
  • Wall Street didn’t give them much to work with and the session was light on domestic news
  • However, the currency market was a lot more lively

What’s going to move the Asia Pacific majors through 2017’s third quarter? The DailyFX forecasts are here

Asian stocks were mixed on Friday in markets short of a single overarching theme.

The Nikkei 225 slipped 0.2%, with a weaker US Dollar reportedly behind its slide. Over in Sydney the ASX 200 dropped 0.7%. Chinese stocks had a moderately better time but only inched into the green. Wall Street had offered a mixed lead with lower closes for the Dow and the S&P 500, but a tenth straight gain for the Nasdaq which managed another record high.

There was a bit more action in the foreign exchange area, to say the least. The Australian Dollar was slammed by a speech from Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Guy Debelle who managed to dash some built-up hopes that local interest rate rises might be close. However AUD/USD was creeping back up again as European trade ramped up. The bullish Euro meanwhile continued higher and looks well set for another week of gains. The US Dollar Index which tracks the greenback’s fortunes against its most widely traded rivals was flat. However, that still means it is close to one-year lows. The New Zealand Dollar posted gains after Finance Minister Steven Joyce told Bloomberg that its strength did not worry him.

Crude oil prices inched up as investors looked toward a meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries next week. However, the international benchmark, Brent, stayed under $50/barrel, having briefly hit that level Thursday for the first time in six weeks. Gold prices didn’t move far either way in the Asian session but still look on track for a second straight week of gains.

The rest of global Friday offers little economic news. Investors will get a look at UK public finance numbers, Canadian consumer prices and the European Central Bank’s survey of professional forecasters’ views.

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX