Talking Points:

  • Asian stocks were mixed, as Wall Street had been the day before
  • The Nikkei took back some of Wednesday’s losses
  • Bitcoin remains under clear bull control

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Asian stocks markets were mixed again on Thursday after a generally stronger performance than that seen in the previous session. To some extent their showing once again mirrored that of Wall Street where investors spent much of Wednesday awaiting more news of tax reform’s legislative progress.

The Nikkei 225 fought back to gain by 1.45%, having lost nearly 2% the day before. Gains were evident across the board with automakers, finance and tech all in the green. The ASX 200 rose by 0.5% with gains for Australia's big four banks helping. South Korea’s Kospi was among the losers, with tech gains offset by falls for manufacturing and oil. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng recouped some of Wednesday’s losses but mainland Chinese bourses lost ground again, albeit not much.

The currency markets were not especially active Thursday although the US Dollar held gains made against the Japanese Yen as risk appetite appeared to hold up. The overall Dollar index was little changed, however. The same can’t be said for Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency heavyweight champ saw its price soar through $14,000 just days after it topped $12,000 for the first time.

Gold prices slipped as the US Dollar held firm. Crude oil prices rose on news of reduced US inventories but the prospect of enduring output cuts appears to have this market’s back.

Still to come this session are Eurozone growth data, the Halifax snapshot of UK house prices and US initial and continuing jobless-claim figures. News of Canadian building-permit levels is coming up too, along with Mexican consumer prices.

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

Contact and follow David on Twitter:@DavidCottleFX