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Talking Points:

  • Asian stock markets rose across the board
  • A combination of a higher Wall Street and some more dovish Federal Reserve commentary proved good for bulls
  • The US Dollar gained, stronger Japanese inflation didn’t help the Yen

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Asian stocks made broad gains on Friday without one single. obvious catalyst. St Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard said in an interview that raising interest rates too quickly could slow the economy too much, which perhaps gave investors a straw to clutch at following this week’s release of Fed policy-meeting minutes which seemed to leave multiple rate rises this year very much in prospect.

Wall Street also managed to finish higher, which Asian investors usually find cheering. The Nikkei 225 added 0.7% with all other major bourses also in the green. Seoul’s Kospi did especially well, rising 1.1%, with both its tech and manufacturing names drawing the crowds.

The US Dollar edged up a little in the currency markets underpinned perhaps by signs of risk-appetite revival. It was notably stronger against the Japanese Yen despite the release of Japanese inflation data which came in near a three-year high. It remains very well below the Bank of Japan’s 2% target, however.

Gold prices were down again as the Dollar perked up, while crude oil prices slipped too. News of higher US crude exports did the damage but lower stock levels kept the market underpinned.

Still to come Friday are Eurozone and Canadian Consumer Price Index numbers. Central-bank watchers will await public commentary from the New York Fed’s Robert Dudley, Boston’s Eric Rosengren and Bank of England Deputy Governor David Ramsden.

--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research

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