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Asian Markets See Mixed, Muted Trade As US Dollar Firms

Asian Markets See Mixed, Muted Trade As US Dollar Firms

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points:

  • Asian stock markets didn’t have much news to go on Tuesday
  • Trade was accordingly subdued although a stronger US Dollar lifted exporters
  • Investors await confirmation testimony from the next Federal Reserve Chair

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Most Asia Pacific stocks inched up Tuesday with a lack of regional news again focusing attention on events elsewhere. The US Dollar recovered a bit of poise which helped local export stocks as it often does.

The Nikkei 225 couldn’t hold up and ended off 0.04%. Neither could the ASX 200. It slipped 0.05% The Kospi gained 0.4%, however, despite more falls for the tech sector. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell on a report suggesting that flows in its direction from the mainland via the Stock Connect could be limited by Beijng. Shanghai stocks hovered around their start line into the close. Some nerves were reportedly jangling thanks to various news stories suggesting that North Korea could be preparing another missile test.

The US Dollar was steady against the Yen with near-term focus on a possible Senate vote on tax reform this week. Gold prices were modestly lower, as were crude oil prices. The latter were hit by uncertainty over the sustainability of current production cuts and the restarting of a key pipeline between Canada and the US which had been closed by a spill.

Coming up later investors can look forward to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s outlook and Germany’s GfK consumer confidence snapshot. From the US will come trade balance data, the Case Shiller house price indexes, and the consumer confidence release. The Bank of Canada will release its Financial System Review.

Federal Reserve Governor Jerome Powell will testify before the Senate Banking Committee. Powell is Donald Trump’s choice to take over the Fed Chair from Janet Yellen and this testimony is part of his confirmation process. Senior DailyFX Currency Strategist Ilya Spivak thinks that the Dollar could gain if Powell is seen to endorse the current Fed prognosis of three interest-rate increases next year.

--- 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.