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Most Asian Stocks Backtrack, Hang Seng Stays Out In Front

Most Asian Stocks Backtrack, Hang Seng Stays Out In Front

David Cottle, Analyst

Talking Points:

  • Most Asian stocks pulled back despite a stronger US lead
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng continued to forge ahead as it already had for eleven sessions
  • The US Dollar continued to struggle against a resurgent Japanese Yen

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A stronger lead from Wall Street failed to work its usual magic on Asian shares Wednesday in a session which saw most indexes retreat.

The Nikkei 225 slipped by 0.3% as gains for autos and financials weren’t enough to buoy the index overall. The ASX 200 lost 0.6%, miners gave ground as investors cashed out recent gains. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng managed to rise, however, extending its winning streak to a 12th straight session- its longest since 1991. The trade hub’s shares are clearly benefitting from rising bets on global growth and 2007’s all-time high of 31,958.41 may now beckon. Shanghai stocks were flat into the close.

The US Dollar put in a mixed performance. Rising Treasury yields offered it some support as they hit nine-month highs, but the currency continued to flag against the Japanese Yen. USD/JPY has been pressured since Tuesday when reduced bond buying from the Bank of Japan put markets on alert for stimulus reduction, even though no such policy has been announced. The Australian Dollar didn’t get much of a boost from as-expected Chinese inflation numbers which showed factory gate inflation rising at a nine year high.

Gold prices were a little lower on those higher US yields and a better Stateside equity showing. Crude oil prices hit highs not seen since 2014 Wednesday as production cuts met analyst prognoses of higher demand, but analysts seem increasingly worried that this rally has got ahead of itself.

Still to come Wednesday are official UK industrial production figures, new of Canadian building-permit levels and import and export price data out of the US. Market watchers will also get a look at crude oil inventory levels 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.