Asian Stocks Mixed Again, Jackson Hole Squarely In Sight
- Asian stocks were mixed again Thursday
- The Nikkei 225 took a notable hit as steelmakers struggled
- The US Dollar had a more restful session as traders mull the chances of big central bank news from Jackson Hole
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Asian stock markets were mixed again Thursday as investors found themselves short of one overarching story to guide trade.
The Nikkei ended down 0.4%, near 3.5-month lows. Its steelmakers were reportedly hit by a report that Toyota was looking to cut the price of steel supplied to component suppliers. Shanghai stocks were also down but Australia’s ASX 200 did better, rising 0.3%. The Hang Seng and Kospi also rose.
Local economic data were once again sparse, although the New Zealand Dollar got a lift from the surprising news of a rare trade surplus in its home country. More broadly the US Dollar inched up as focus returned squarely to this week’s Jackson Hole central banking symposium and away from US President Trump’s Dollar-shrivelling epithets on everything from the Mexican border to the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Investors seem to be making Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen the main focus of Jackson Hole, now that reports suggest European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi may not use the occasion to announce stimulus reduction. Anything Ms. Yellen may have to say about the chances of another
Gold prices inched down in a session which offered the asset class little news either good or bad. Crude oil prices clung to most of the previous day’s gains, which came in turn on news of US inventory drawdowns, although chronic oversupply worries continue to dog this market.
The rest of the session offers heavyweight economic data with a diverse global spread. GDP numbers are due from the UK, initial and continuing jobless-claims figures from the US and central bank policy meeting minutes from Mexico.
--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX