Stocks Mixed As RBA Leaves Rates Alone, Australian Data Mixed Too
APAC Stocks Talking Points:
- Regional shares were mostly lower
- The Reserve Bank of Australia did as expected and left the Official Cash Rate alone
- The UK Pound continues to struggle
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Asia Pacific stocks were broadly lower Tuesday with regional market focus very much on Australia.
The Reserve Bank of Australia left the Official Cash Rate on hold at its record low of 1%, as markets expected. The RBA said once again that it was reasonable to expect an extended period of low interest rates and futures markets continue to price in two quarter point reduction by April next year.
Australia also posted a record current account surplus of A$5.9 billion in the second quarter. This was largely thanks to higher prices for raw materials such as iron ore and coal. The former’s price has fallen sharply in the past month, however.
The ASX 200 was down 0.3% nevertheless as its close loomed. Domestic retail sales were soggy in July, falling 0.1% against the 0.2% rise expected. The Big Four Australian banks were higher. It’s unlikely that the RBA’s action had much effect on them, but Credit Suisse’s upgrade of Westpac may have done so.
The index is still showing a degree of resilience but shows some signs of topping out just below its early-August high on the daily chart.
Technically speaking the trading range of mid-July to mid-August still forms resistance that the bulls have yet to crack.
The Nikkei 225 was an exception to the general red but it was only up 0.1%. The Shanghai Composite was down 0.2%, with the Hang Seng off by 0.3%.
The British pound continued to edge lower as Brexit uncertainty overshadowed the market. Against the US Dollar the currency is close to its lows of late 2016.
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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.