Asian Stocks Mixed As Growth Worries Dominate, USD Edges Up
Asian Stocks Talking Points:
- Stock markets were mixed as a new week got started in Asia
- Last week’s feeble US employment numbers were of course noted
- The US Dollar made gains as Brexit worries haunted Sterling
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Asian stocks traded mixed on Monday with worries about global growth to the fore once more following weak economic numbers from the US and China last week.
February’s official labor statistics from the former found only 20,000 nonfarm jobs created in February, massively below the 180,000 expected. Those numbers came not long after news that Chinese export levels had collapsed.
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell was interviewed early in the Asian session. He was cautiously upbeat on US economic prospects but said that the Fed could afford to be patient in its monetary policy. He also said that he did not believe the President had the right to fire him, speaking to Donald Trump’s apparent annoyance with last year’s interest rate rises.
There are still hopes of a trade settlement between the world’s two largest economies and that seems to be keeping risk appetite underpinned.
As Monday’s close loomed the Nikkei 225 was up 0.4%. The Shanghai Composite added 1.2%. However the ASX 200 was off 0.3% and South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.1%.
In the foreign exchange space, the US Dollar edged higher against major traded rivals with the British Pound losing ground once again thanks to uncertainties over Brexit. Tuesday will see a parliamentary vote on the latest plan, with the government expected to lose once more.
Gold prices edged down as the Dollar gained, while crude oil rose thanks to OPEC production cuts and a fall in US drilling.
GBP/USD has retraced much of the mini-rally which characterized late February’s trade and daily chart focus is now once again on lows from the middle of that month in the 1.2764 region.
Still to come Monday are German industrial production numbers, along with trade and current account data from the same country. However, January’s advance US retail sales figures will top the bill as far as markets are concerned.
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--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
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