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Asian Stocks Lack Direction Despite More Wall Street Gains

Asian Stocks Lack Direction Despite More Wall Street Gains

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points:

  • Asian markets suffered a dearth of local news
  • They initially followed US stocks higher after another record close there
  • The US Dollar slipped back a little across the board

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Wednesday brought another mixed session for Asian stocks despite yet more record highs for Wall Street the day before.

This part of the monthly calendar offers little in terms of scheduled regional economic news and, with China and South Korea still out for public holidays, trade was a little subdued. Unrest in Spain’s Catalonia region remained very much in investors’ sights. The region’s leaders have said that they will declare independence from Spain in days following a referendum which Spain insists was illegal.

The Nikkei 225 ended down, but by just 0.03%. The ASX 200 was off by a more obvious 0.9%, with bank stocks still pressured by the impression given Tuesday that the Reserve Bank of Australia was in no hurry to raise interest rates.

The US Dollar came under a bit of broad pressure against major rivals, a move which reports put down to a little exhaustion after recent gains, and to chatter about who if anyone might replace Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen when her term expires in February.

Gold prices inched up as they are generally wont to do when the US Dollar slides, while crude oil prices slipped, reportedly as investors began to doubt that recent market optimism will endure long into the nascent fourth quarter.

The rest of the session will bring a plethora of Purchasing Managers Index data or their equivalents from around Europe and the US. The markets will also have more information on US crude oil inventory levels on tap but the day’s main event will be comments from Janet Yellen. She is scheduled to give the welcome address at a community banking event, which may limit her scope for market moving. But many investors will probably wait until they’ve heard from her nevertheless.

--- 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.