Asian Markets Slip Back Broadly Despite Stronger US Dollar
- Asian stocks were mostly lower
- Markets lacked overseas lead and traded on local factors
- The US Dollar firmed as Treasury yields rose once more
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Most Asian stock indexes were lower Tuesday even as the US Dollar firmed up a little at last- a sight which usually cheers them.
The US currency inched back up against a basket of its major trading rivals, despite the lack of a US lead for Asian trading thanks to Monday’s US President’s Day break. There are a fair number of Federal Reserve speakers on tap in the coming week, as well as the minutes of its last monetary policy meeting and investors may simply be covering some of their more excessive short-Dollar positions before these hit. Moreover another rise in Treasury yields may also be adding to the currency’s attractions,
Still, the Nikkei slipped 0.9% as financials, energy names and manufacturers all wilted. Australia’s ASX 200 was down by just 0.01% at the close. The Kospi was down more than 1% as its day’s close loomed with the Hang Seng modestly lower. Global banking titan HSBC reported a full-year profit increase of 10.9% to $20.99 billion – just beating expectations.
The Australian Dollar made modest gains after the release of Reserve Bank of Australia policy-meeting minutes which stuck to a tone of cautious optimism. Gold prices were mixed thanks to that perkier US Dollar while crude oil prices put in a mixed Asian session. International Brent slipped a little as the US benchmark rose.
The global data slate has a European flavor for the rest of Tuesday. German producer prices and the ZEW survey are both coming up as is February’s reading of Eurozone consumer confidence.
--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
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