Asian Stocks Mixed As Xi Jinping Opens Key China Congress
- China’s Communist Party Congress started in Beijing
- President Xi opened proceedings with an optimistic and reasonably market-friendly speech
- The US Dollar remained underpinned by Yellen-successor speculation
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Asian markets were mixed and traded narrowly Wednesday as investors kept an eye on China’s important Communist Party Congress which kicked off in Beijing.
In an address lasting more than three hours, President Xi Jinping highlighted predictably the achievements of his time in power. However, he also acknowledged challenges ahead, pledging industrial reform and greater market access. He said that the allocation of resources would increasingly be decided by the market. All up this was probably a speech as friendly to markets and foreign investors as could reasonably have been hoped for.
The Nikkei 225 ended up, but not by much tacking on 0.13% and extending its winning run to a twelfth day. Shanghai stocks were higher too, as was Sydney’s ASX 200. However stocks in Hong Kong and South Korea ticked lower.
The US Dollar remained modestly higher through the session with President Donald Trump’s likely choice of successor to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen still exercising investors. The possibility of a more hawkish Fed helm seems to be supporting the greenback
Oil prices rose on ongoing Middle Eastern tensions and signs of a tighter US market, while gold prices inched up from their one-week lows.
The Asian session may be winding down but there are still plenty of scheduled news items for investors to get their teeth into Wednesday. On the data front they’ll get official UK labor statistics, along with US mortgage-application and housing-start numbers. Oil inventory figures from the Department of Energy are also coming up. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is due to speak in Frankfurt.
--- 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.