Morning Report

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

  • Asian stocks rose in early Wednesday trade.
  • Fed Chairman Jerome Powell gave an upbeat assessment of the U.S. economy and indicated that it was “difficult” to forecast how trade disputes would impact the economy.
  • The dollar was firmer following Powell’s remarks.

Asian shares rose on Wednesday, tracking gains seen on Wall Street amid earnings season news and following upbeat remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell during his congressional testimony.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.85 percent, adding to three prior consecutive sessions of gains.Over in Seoul the Kospi traded higher by 0.84 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 added 0.73 percent.The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite notched a record high on Tuesday before closing up 0.63 percent to 7,855.12.

Powell positive on US economy

Gains in Asia came after the Fed’s Powell gave a positive assessment of the U.S. economy during his semi-annual congressional testimony on Tuesday, indicating that gradual interest rate increases were warranted. Powell also touched on the matter of trade disputes between the U.S. and its trading partners, saying it was “difficult to predict” the implications of those on the economy.

The dollar held onto overnight gains made following Powell’s comments, with the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, mostly steady at 95.044. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the Yuan reerence rate at 6.6914 vs  previous day’s fix of 6.6821.

Meanwhile, oil prices were slightly softer. They had dropped more than 4 percent earlier this week. U.S. crude futures slipped 0.46 percent to trade at $67.77 per barrel and Brent crude futures edged down by 0.76 percent to $71.61.

Source : Reuters

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