- Most Asian stocks were very slightly higher into Wednesday’s close
- The Nikkei was a standout exception, closing lower at last
- Weaker consumer price data took a toll on AUD/USD
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Most Asian stocks were modestly higher Wednesday as investors looked with hope to US tax-reform plans. One rare exception was the Nikkei 225 which failed to hold its gains into the close, breaking a record 16-session winning streak.
It finally ran out of steam to close down 0.5%, but all other regional mainboards were in the green. The ASX 200 added 0.1%, with similar small gains seen in China and South Korea. Indian stocks were supported by news of a $32 billion state liquidity injection into the local banking sector.
In the currency markets the Australian Dollar was under severe pressure as third-quarter consumer price inflation missed forecasts. AUD/USD sank to its lowest levels since July. The US Dollar held up against the Japanese Yen, held up by speculation that Stanford economist John Taolor might follow Janet Yellen as Chair of the US Federal Reserve. Tailor is seen as a possibly more hawkish choice who might be inclined to ramp up the pace of interest-rate rises.
Gold prices edged lower as the greenback firmed while crude oil prices gained slightly, reportedly on news of Saudi resolve to end supply gluts. Whether that remains in its power in the age of shale remains to be seen.
There's still plenty of heavyweight economic data to come Wednesday. US durable-goods orders will probably top the bill, with a little competition from UK Gross Domestic Product figures and the Bank of Canada’s October monetary-policy call. Germany's Ifo survey is also at hand, along with US crude oil inventory data from the Department of Energy.
--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX