Asian Stocks Mixed As Markets Mull Fed Call, US Payrolls Loom
ASIAN STOCKS TALKING POINTS:
- Asian markets were mixed, with Tokyo out for holiday
- The US Federal Reserve left rates alone but may not do so in June
- The US Dollar looked a little listless
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Asian stocks were mixed again on Thursday. Investors digested an as-expected monetary policy decision from the US Federal Reserve and looked to US/China trade talks with what hope they could muster.
The US central bank left interest rates alone as had been all-but universally expected. However, it pointed to gradually rising inflation in a statement judged to have left the door wide open to a hike next month Trade was also in focus thanks to the start of those high-level discussions Thursday in Beijing.
Equity markets were without usual bellwether Japan as that country took a holiday. Even so the ASX 200 and Shanghai Composite managed gains while the Hang Seng and Kospi wilted.
The US-Dollar slipped from its pre-Fed, four-month highs against a basket of its major traded rivals. However, with the policy decision out of the way, the currency felt in need of a new catalyst for much of the Asian session. It may get one soon enough though, with arguably the month’s key data release due on Friday- official US employment numbers. A chunky rise of 191,000 nonfarm payrolls is expected for April.
USD/JPY seems to have stalled around the highs of mid-February, breaking its dominant uptrend line in the process. Time will tell whether this is understandable consolidation or the start of any deeper retracement.
Interest-rate differential still hugely favour the first scenario.
Still to come on Thursday’s economic data slate are Eurozone consumer price numbers, the US service-sector snapshot from the Institute for Supply Management and US trade data. Initial jobless claims figures are also due, as are durable goods and factory order data.
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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
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