Most Asian Stocks Gain As US Tax Reform Hopes Swell Once More
- Asian stocks were mostly in the green as Monday’s session bowed out
- A strong US lead and renewed hopes for tax reform brought out the bulls
- Bitcoin slipped on its CME trading debut
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Asian stocks were mostly higher Monday supported by yet more record-high Wall Street closes and by hopes that US tax reform is getting closer to the statute book. Former holdout senators indicated that they would pass the bill on Friday, and there is reportedly some hope that measures can get through by the middle of this week.
The Nikkei 225 added 1.55%, with banks and other blue chips leading the way. Stocks in Hong Kong and Sydney also made gains but those in Shanghai and Seoul seem to be struggling to hold theirs as trade winds down.
The US Dollar came under some moderate early pressure but steadied as the Asian session went on. The New Zealand Dollar was the most impressive local gainer in what was seen as a corrective rally. Japan scored a trade surplus when the markets had been looking for a deficit although, in news released at the same time, firms’ inflation expectations remained extremely cautious. Price rises of not much more than half the hoped-for 2% level are still seen in three years’ time. Still, Yen focus was elsewhere and USD/JPY barely twitched on the data.
Bitcoin prices fell as futures-contract trade kicked off on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. That was in sharp contrast to the rises seen last week when the Chicago Board Options Exchange started its version.
Gold prices inched lower as the US Dollar firmed while crude oil prices gained even though reports suggest that 2018’s needs look extremely well supplied.
Still to come Monday are Eurozone Consumer Price Index data for November and the US housing market index from the National Association of Home Builders.
--- 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.