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Friday, 3 August 2018

  • Asian stocks traded moderately higher on Friday, tracking Wall Street’s gains.
  • Apple became the first U.S. publicly trade company to reach a market cap of $1 trillion.
  • Markets in Europe and Asia had declined overnight amid elevated trade jitters.

Asian stocks traded moderately higher on Friday as regional markets attempted to recover after sliding on trade jitters in the last session. The advance in Asia also came on the back of tech-led gains seen stateside as Apple became the first publicly traded U.S. company to hit a market cap of $1 trillion.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged up by 0.4 percent in early trade, with the oil and coal sector, as well as automakers, contributing to the overall move higher. In South Korea, the Kospi added 0.43 percent. Australian stocks also tracked higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.46 percent.

The firmer sentiment seen in Asia followed gains on Wall Street on Thursday. The S&P 500 edged up by 0.49 percent to 2,827.22 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.24 percent to finish the session at 7,802.69. The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 0.03 percent, or 7.66 points, to close at 25,326.16, paring an earlier dip of more than 200 points.

In currencies, the dollar held onto overnight gains made amid trade worries. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of peers, last stood at 95.179. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the yuan reference rate at 6.8322 vs the previous day’s fix of 6.8293. The USD/CNY pair gapped higher and rose to 6.8724, the highest level since May 25, 2017, on US-China trade worries and weaker PBOC fix.

Oil prices strengthened Thursday, with U.S. crude gaining nearly 2 percent after traders saw an industry report suggesting domestic crude stockpiles would soon decline again after a surprise rise in the latest week. Brent crude futures LCOc1 settled up $1.06, or 1.5 percent at $73.45 a barrel. U.S. crude CLc1 rose $1.30, or 1.9 percent, to $68.96 a barrel.

Source : Reuters

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