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Asia Stocks Steadier, US Dollar Gains As Jackson Hole Nears

Asia Stocks Steadier, US Dollar Gains As Jackson Hole Nears

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points

  • Most Asian stocks finished higher as risk appetite staged a modest revival
  • The US Dollar was in better shape than it had been for some time
  • The market is looking ahead to the Jackson Hole symposium

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A higher US Dollar and generally steadier market nerves marked Asia’s Tuesday trading session.

While a lack of further bad news was probably behind the day’s moves, rather than any obvious cause for celebration, the greenback was stronger against the Yen as traders focused on this week’s annual central banking conference at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. With European Central Bank President Mario Draghi now not expected to announce any reduction in stimulus measures, focus has returned to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and whether she’ll increase market expectations of higher US interest rates before year-end. Beyond the Yen the US Dollar also crept higher against a basket of its most widely-traded rivals as investors mulled this possibility.

Stock markets also took advantage of a risk-appetite revival to trade higher across the region. Nikkei 225 investors seemed to enjoy the comparatively rare sight of that weaker Yen for a while, but couldn’t quite gird themselves for a stronger close. The Tokyo benchmark closed down 0.05%, with its 2017 gains still in some jeopardy. All the other main Asia Pacific indexes were in the green, however, if not by much, with the ASX 200 up 0.3%.

Crude oil prices gained, reportedly as investors scent at long last some real tightening of the US market where inventories continue to fall. Gold lost a little ground but ongoing military exercises between the US and South Korea are keeping the troubled Southeast Asian region in investors’ minds and underpinning haven demand.

The rest of the session will offer Germany’s ZEW sentiment survey and UK public finance numbers before focus moves across the Atlantic to the US house-price index.

--- 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.