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Asian Markets Calm But Mostly Higher As FOMC Minutes Loom

Asian Markets Calm But Mostly Higher As FOMC Minutes Loom

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points

  • Most Asian markets were in the green Wednesday
  • Data was sparse to earnings reports drove, to the modest detriment of the Nikkei
  • Many investors were waiting to hear about the Fed’s last policy meeting

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Most Asian shares posted gains in what we might as well admit was a lackluster Wednesday session, while the US Dollar largely held the gains inspired by strong retail sales the day before.

With little local data to drive play, stock markets were focused on earnings. This turned out to be bad news for the Nikkei 225 where tech gains were offset by automaker losses leading to a fall of 0.1% on the day. The Shanghai Composite also slipped but most other local bourses were higher.

The main local release was the Australian leading index from Westpac. Rarely a huge crowd pleaser, July’s came in higher than June’s but still flagged below-trend growth which took a little of the shine from the Australian Dollar.

Crude oil prices edged up on falling US inventory data while gold prices were steadier after two days of losses.

The rest of the session is likely to be dominated by the wait for, and reaction to, the minutes of the last Federal Open Market Committee meeting on July 25 and 25. As well as pointers on the nature of “traditional” mnetary policy discussion, investors will be looking for more detail about the likely timing of balance-sheet reduction at the Federal Reserve.

The minutes won’t quite be the only game in town though. Also coming up are UK employment and earnings statistics -arguably more important now than ever as investors try to sift Brexit risks. Eurozone GDP data are also coming up, as are US housing starts and oil-product inventory levels from Cushing in Oklahoma.

--- 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.