Asian Markets Mostly Weaker
Markets in Asia were mostly weaker on Friday, following the lower close stateside on weak earnings from U.S. retailer Macy’s and ahead of the G7 finance meeting in Italy.
The Nikkei 225 was softer on Friday, easing by 0.63 percent while the Kospi edged down by 0.54 percent. Greater Chinese markets were mixed. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.39 percent but the Shenzhen Composite inched down by 0.239 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index traded 0.07 higher.
Shanghai composite posts a minor rebound after its recent slump. However, the bearish short-term trend remains intact. source: Bloomberg
In currency news, the pound tanked against the dollar following the Bank of England’s interest rate decision yesterday. The BOE stood pat but lowered its growth projections for the United Kingdom. Cable fell sharply after the news, last trading at $1.2885. Pound/dollar traded around $1.292 before the news. However, it was flat in the morning as traders awaited important data from the United States.
Speaking about the USD. The currency eased against a basket of rival currencies to trade at 99.576, but still off the 98 handle seen last week. Dollar/yen was weaker, with the greenback fetching 113.69 yen. USDJPY climbed above the 114 level in the last two sessions.
Volatility on the fx market was rather muted early in the morning. source: Bloomberg
In commodities, oil prices made gains for a second straight session yesterday, adding more than 1 percent. WTI crude traded higher by 0.19 percent, while Brent crude futures edged up by 0.18 percent. The move came after inventories fell the most this year and OPEC’s members confirmed that they want to extend the output cut. Gold was also higher as a weaker dollar has taken its toll.
Ahead, a weekend meeting of top finance chiefs from the world leading economies called the G7 will meet in Italy at the weekend with trade and currencies expected to be on the agenda. This round of finance ministers and central bankers will also address global economic growth prospects.