Morning Report

  • Asian markets were mixed in early Friday trade, with only Australia trading slightly higher.
  • The dollar held onto overnight gains as the Russian ruble and Turkish lira slid overnight.
  • The Reserve Bank of Australia is due to release its statement of monetary policy today.

Asian stocks were mixed in early trade on the last trading day of the week, taking cues from Wall Street’s overnight performance.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.35 percent in early morning trade, the Kospi pulled back by 0.66 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 bucked the overall downward trend to inch higher, with the index last trading higher by 0.14 percent.

That followed the mixed session seen stateside on Thursday. Major U.S. indexes traded flat for most of the day before slipping late in the session as investors focused on this quarter’s strong earnings. Nearly 90 percent of S&P 500 companies have reported quarterly results so far.

The Nasdaq Composite notched its eighth consecutive positive session, finishing the day higher by 0.04 percent at 7,891.78. That was the tech-heavy index’s longest win streak this year.

European markets were also mixed overnight, with the pan-European Stoxx 600 edging 0.1 percent higher and the FTSE 100 slipping 0.45 percent.

The dollar held onto overnight gains on Friday, with the dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, last at 95.647. Other notable moves included the slide in the Russian ruble on Thursday following news of U.S. sanctions on the country linked to an alleged poisoning in Britain earlier in the year. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the Yuan reference rate at 6.8395 vs the previous day’s fix of 6.8317.

Oil prices fell on Friday, pulled down by concerns that the escalating trade dispute between the United States and China would stall economic growth and fuel demand. Front-month Brent crude oil futures were at $71.89 per barrel , down 18 cents, or 0.25 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 10 cents, or 0.15 percent, at $66.71 per barrel.

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