Thursday, 5 July 2018

  • Asian stocks searched for direction in early trade as trade concerns simmered.
  • European stocks closed mixed, with the Stoxx 600 ending just above breakeven.
  • U.S. markets were closed for Independence Day.
  • China said it would not “fire the first shot” in its trade dispute with the U.S. ahead of a deadline when tariffs are set to take effect.

Asian markets were little changed early during Thursday trade, as investors searched for direction ahead of a deadline when tariffs from the U.S. and China are due to be implemented.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 hovered around the flat line in the morning, inching higher by 0.02 percent. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.28 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 drifted higher by 0.09 percent in early trade.

In currencies, the yuan gained overnight after notching an 11-month low against the dollar earlier this week. The stabilization in the currency came after the People’s Bank of China reassured markets about the currency.

The dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of currencies, last stood at 94.508. The People’s Bank of China  set the Yuan reference rate at 6.6180 vs previous day’s fix of 6.6595. The central bank’s targeted reserve requirement ratio (RRR) cut takes effect today and is seen releasing about CNY 700 billion in liquidity. 

Oil prices eased on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump sent a tweet urging OPEC to reduce prices for crude. Brent crude futures were at $77.88 per barrel down 36 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 35 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $73.79 per barrel.

Source : Reuters

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