Asian Stocks Mostly Higher But Nikkei Lags On New BoJ Gloom
Asian Stocks Talking Points:
- Equity markets were mostly higher as the week bowed out
- The Nikkei 225 was the glaring exception to this rule
- Percieved haven assets got the better of the US Dollar
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Asia Pacific stocks were mostly higher in Wall Street’s wake on Friday, but the Nikkei 225 lagged proceedings following a gloomy note struck by the Bank of Japan.
The ‘summary of opinions’ from its December monetary policy meeting showed rate setters worried that the global economic outlook was darkening, with risks more generally skewed to the downside. Some on the monetary policy committee also feared that recent oil price falls could further delay inflation’s return to the long-elusive 2% target.
The Nikkei 225 was down 0.3% as its close loomed, the only major regional benchmark to be in the red. Shanghai was up 0.2%, with Hong Kong up 0.1% and the ASX 200 up by 0.7%. The Japanese benchmark has made a new low for 2018 this week, in common with plenty of other developed market indexes. However, it has bounced quite considerably following US stocks remarkable turnaround since Christmas.
Continuing trade tensions between China and the US saw perceived haven currencies like the Japanese Yen and Swiss Franc higher against the US dollar Friday, although the growth-linked Australian Dollar also managed gains.
Gold prices inched back through the session as stock markets generally held up. Crude oil prices managed modest gains but fear of gross oversupply continues to cap this market.
Friday’s remaining data highlights will include official German inflation numbers and the advance US goods trade balance for November. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index is also coming up, as is news of last month’s pending home sales.
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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
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DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.