Morning Report

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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

  • Asian shares rose on Wednesday, extending the last session’s advance.
  • The pick-up in sentiment followed the release of positive earnings stateside and after Chinese shares rallied during the Asia trading session.
  • China trade data was due later in the day.

Asian stocks recorded moderate gains early on Wednesday, taking cues from Wall Street’s gains, as markets in the region extended the advance seen in the previous session.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged up by 0.28 percent in morning trade,South Korean stocks saw similar gains, with the Kospi adding 0.23 percent. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.25 percent, Wall Street rose on Tuesday, with the churn of positive earnings overshadowing investor concerns over recently proposed tariffs in the U.S.-China trade dispute. The S&P 500 advanced 0.28 percent to finish at 2,858.45, only 0.5 percent away from its record high of 2,872.87 set in January.

The USTR said on Tuesday that 25 percent U.S. tariffs on $16 billion in Chinese goods will take effect on August 23. An earlier wave of duties on $34 billion in Chinese imports took effect on July 6.

Chinese stocks had rebounded on Tuesday after taking a hit in recent sessions, with the Shanghai Composite jumping more than 2 percent on the back of four consecutive sessions of declines. Gains in Chinese shares in the last session came amid optimism over increased government spending on infrastructure.

In currencies, the dollar index, which tracks the U.S. dollar against a basket of currencies, drifted lower. The index last stood at 95.118. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the yuan reference rate at 6.8313 vs the previous day’s fix of 6.8431. The USD/CNY pair closed yesterday at 6.8278. 

Oil prices held steady on Wednesday, supported by a report of rising U.S. crude inventories as well as the introduction of sanctions against Iran. Front-month U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $69.21 per barrel, up 4 cents from their last settlement. Brent crude oil futures were at $74.63 per barrel, down two cents after a 90 cent gain in the previous session.

Source : Reuters

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