Asian Stocks Trade Narrowly, Investors Await ECB Policy Call
- Asian equity markets had little to do but react to local earnings reports Thursday
- The looming European Central Bank policy decision may have limited trade
- The US Dollar inched down against the Euro
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Asian equity markets traded narrow ranges Thursday with direction mostly guided by local earnings reports amid a dearth of local economic data.
That left the Nikkei 225 and ASX 200 up 0.2% apiece and the Shanghai Composite up 0.3%. South Korea's Kospi and Hong Kong's Hang Seng could not hold early gains.
In currency markets the Euro inched up as investors looked ahead to Thursday’s European Central Bank monetary-policy meeting. The ECB is widely expected to announce the reduction of its bond-buying stimulus, the biggest step yet in scaling back years of post-crisis monetary easing. Monthly bond buying could be trimmed to EUR40 billion (US$47 billion), from EUR 60 billion now, which would of course still leave the bank’s overall policy stance extremely accommodative. The Australian Dollar gained back some of the losses it incurred Wednesday when inflation data underwhelmed. Its New Zealand cousin remains weighed down by political concerns but didn’t fall far on news of a wider-than-expected trade gap.
Gold prices edged up with EUR/USD, while crude oil prices slipped on Wednesday’s news of another US inventory build-up.
The ECB aside, the rest of Thursday's global trading session offers continuing and initial jobless-claim data out of the US along with pending home sales numbers.
--- 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.