Asian Stocks Rise, Bucking Wall St Weakness, Yuan Under Pressure
- Most Asian stocks were higher as theur session wound down
- The US Dollar was steady but the New Zealand version was lower thanks to its central bank’s inflation caution
- The Chinese Yuan was lower too
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Most Asian stocks were in the green Thursday, despite a tepid Wall Street lead, as investors found local reasons to buy back in after this week’s big falls.
The Nikkei 225 added 1.1% with financials, manufacturers and automakers all higher. The ASX also got a modest boost, rising 0.2% as gains for the banks offset falls for the diggers. Chinese stocks were a little more mixed with Shanghai in the red as trade wound down.
China notched up a 36.9% jump in imports and an 11% export rise in US Dollar-term exports for January. Both beat expectations. However, the overall trade surplus was only $20.34 billion, well under half the $54 billion expected. The closely watched surplus with the US was about $3 billion lower than in the previous month.
The US Dollar was steady against major rivals through the Asian session. The Euro faced a bit of early pressure but made back most of its losses. The New Zealand Dollar took a hit from its home central bank’s cautious inflation expectations following a monetary policy decision which left interest rates alone as expected. China’s Yuan took a 1.1% fall against the US Dollar at one point and seems set for its weakest session so far this year. The reasons for this were not immediately clear.
Gold prices were clipped by the Dollar’s firmness while crude oil prices slipped on Wednesday’s news that US production had topped ten million barrels per day, undermining OPEC efforts to keep supply down.There was a little support from news that the UK’s Forties oil field was suffering an outage- its second this year.
Still on the economic slate Thursday are Germany’s trade data, the European Central Bank’s Economic Bulletin. The Bank of England will announce its February monetary policy decision with no change to the settings expected. Initial US jobless claims will be under the spotlight as will Canadian housing prices. There’s also a plethora of central bank speakers coming up, including Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe and Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
--- 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.