Thursday 30th August: Asia stocks flat as weakness in China outweighs NAFTA trade optimism

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IC Markets Market Review
IC Markets Market Review

Global Markets:

  • Asian Stock Markets : Nikkei up 0.19%, Shanghai Composite down 0.82%, Hang Seng down 0.85%, ASX up 0.17%
  • Commodities : Gold at $1209.70 (-0.15%), Silver at $14.62 (-0.56%), Brent Oil at $77.63 (+0.22%), WTI Oil at $69.69 (+0.26%)
  • Rates : US 10-year yield at 2.882, UK 10-year yield at 1.470, Germany 10-year yield at 0.404

News & Data:

  • (AUD) Building Approvals m/m -5.20% vs -2.20% expected
  • (AUD) Private Capital Expenditure q/q -2.50% vs 0.60% expected
  • (NZD) ANZ Business Confidence -50.3 vs -44.9 previous
  • (USD) Crude Oil Inventories -2.6M vs -0.7M expected
  • (USD) Prelim GDP q/q 4.20% vs 4.00% expected
  • (CAD) Current Account -15.9B vs -15.3B expected

Markets Update:

Asian stock markets are trading flat on Thursday, with Chinese markets fixed firmly on risks from the Sino-U.S. trade war and taking little comfort from an apparent easing in business tensions in North America and Europe. U.S. stocks again closed at record highs overnight amid optimism that trade talks between the U.S. and Canada will help preserve the three-nation North American Free Trade Agreement or NAFTA. Comments by European Union’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier that the bloc was prepared to offer Britain close ties even after Brexit also boosted investor sentiment.

The Japanese market is rising for the eighth straight day after U.S. stocks extended their rally overnight amid optimism over the NAFTA trade-talks. In addition, a weaker yen lifted shares of exporters. The Nikkei 225 rose to a more than three-month high, before giving up gains to trade 0.19% up.

South Korea’s Kospi was up by 0.21 percent after a Reuters report that the U.S. Commerce Department had announced the signing of proclamations by U.S. President Donald Trump which allow for “targeted relief from steel and aluminum quote from some countries.” Down Under, the ASX 200 was up by 0.17 percent, with the telecommunications sector rising 3.49 percent.

The pound surged as fears of a ‘hard Brexit’ eased after the European Union’s chief exit negotiator signalled an accommodative stance towards London in ongoing talks. Sterling rose to a 3-1/2-week high $1.3039, extending its gains after surging more than 1 percent overnight. The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies struggled near a four-week low of 94.434 plumbed on Tuesday, weighed by the pound’s rally. The greenback has also been on the defensive this week with safe-haven demand for the currency diminishing in the wake of improving risk sentiment in broader markets.

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