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Asian Markets Down But Off Lows As Risk Appetite Stays Muted

Asian Markets Down But Off Lows As Risk Appetite Stays Muted

2017-08-18 06:25:00
David Cottle, Analyst
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Talking Points

  • Asian stocks found the going tough but most bourses finished off their lows
  • News of a terror attack in Spain soured an already cautious mood
  • The US Dollar meandered lower against major rivals

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Asian markets’ Friday session would be best characterized as one of modest risk aversion. Stocks were generally lower across the region but look set to finish some way short of their worst levels for the day.

Worries about the US Administration’s ability to stop firefighting and get legislating combined with news of another deadly terror attack, this time in the Spanish city of Barcelona, to dampen demand for risk assets and see investors move instead toward perceived havens.

As the day wound up the Shanghai Composite managed to tick into the green, just, but the Nikkei 225 closed down 1.2%, with Sydney’s ASX 200 down 0.55%

The foreign-exchange space was quiet, as well it might have been with little local economic news on tap. The US Dollar was a little weaker against the Japanese Yen while the Euro and the British Pound also gained on the greenback.

Gold prices were steady around $1,286/ounce, which suggests that risk appetite is not entirely crushed. Crude oil prices slipped a little early but made back most of their losses. Worries about final demand levels seem to be rising as investors fret US legislative gridlock.

The economic news schedule for the rest of the day boasts official Canadian consumer price numbers and the University of Michigan’s venerable consumer sentiment roundup.

--- 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.

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