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Asian Stocks Gain But Nikkei Takes Breather. China Trade Mulled

Asian Stocks Gain But Nikkei Takes Breather. China Trade Mulled

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points:

  • Most Asian stocks managed gains Tuesday
  • The Nikkei 225 was a notable laggard but it has recently outperformed
  • The US Dollar shook off early pressure to rise against major rivals

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Asian stock markets were mostly higher again Wednesday as investors mulled the latest Chinese data and kept an eye on US President Donald Trump’s regional tour which has reached South Korea.

The Nikkei 225 was a rare laggard though. It fell 0.1% into the close, possibly a little exhausted having hit a new, 26-year peak the day before.

The main data event of the day came in the form of Chinese trade numbers for October. Exports rose 6.9% on the year, some way below the 7.2% rise which markets were expecting. However, imports topped forecasts, rising by 17.2%, suggesting that internal demand remains robust in the world’s second-largest national economy. China’s trade surplus with the US narrowed too.

Australia’s ASX 200 added 0.03% as the materials sector failed to hold Tuesday’s gains. The Kospi was flat while shres in both Hong Kong and Shanghai managed modest gains.

The US Dollar had been slipping earlier in the Asian session as investors mulled reports that US coporate tax plans could be delayed. However, it rose into the European open against both the Euro and the Brtish Pound, possibly on comments from Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker. He reportedly said that the US central bank remains on course for a December interest rate rise.

Oil prices retreated broadly in Asia Wednesday. Official data showed Chinese imports at their lowest levels for a year, while reports from the US suggested the market there was well supplied. Gold prices edged up on early US Dollar weakness and failed to retrace when the currency recovered.

The rest of the session will offer details of US mortgage applications and Canadian housing starts, along with oil inventory numbers from the Department of Energy.

--- 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.