Asian Stocks Down, USD/JPY Up As Market Mulls China Bond Plans
- Most Asian stocks slipped, if not generally by much
- A report that China was mulling a Treasury-buying pause or pullback had weighed on Wall Street
- Another piece Thursday seemed to pour cold water on it
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Most Asian stocks slipped Thursday following a softer Wall Street lead. However the story which unnerved US investors- a report that China was considering reducing its purchases of US Treasury bonds- may have been wide of the mark.
The original headlines were reported by Bloomberg on Wednesday but a report from Reuters Thursday, citing a Chinese government source, said that the story could be inaccurate. The matter remains a little opaque, however, even if Thursday’s twist has given the US Dollar a modest lift.
The Nikkei225 ended down 0.3%, with Australia’s ASX 200 down 0.6%. All other bourses were in the red as they headed into the close with the damage lightest in China.
The US Dollar made gains against the Yen as investors looked again at that China story. USD/JPY remains well down on the week, hit earlier by suspicions that the Bank of Japan may be paring its own stimulus. The Australian Dollar was Thursday’s standout, gaining on an extremely strong set of retail sales data which add to an increasingly rosy domestic picture.
Cryptocurrencies took another broad knock, with Bitcoin prices losing 14% at one point, on news that North Korean tax inspectors had raided some of the country’s crypto exchanges ahead of a proposed ban on trading.
Gold prices were flat in Asia while oil slipped back from three-year highs.
Still to come Thursday are Germany’s official growth figures, the Bank of England’s credit conditions survey and the European Central Bank’s account of its last monetary policy meeting. After that economic focus crosses the Atlantic from whence initial and continuing US jobless claims figures will come, along with Canada’s house price index.
--- 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.