Morning Report

*Asia trades cautiously ahead of crucial Trump-Xi talks at G-20 summit*

  • Asia Pacific markets were set to trade cautiously on Friday as investors waited for a highly-anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Argentina.
  • Many are hoping that the meeting would help ease trade tensions between the two countries, which have applied additional tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other’s products.
  • Trump told reporters Thursday that he was “close” to doing something on trade with China but added he wasn’t sure if he wanted to do it.

Asia Pacific markets were cautious Friday morning as investors waited for a highly-anticipated meeting between President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Argentina, which many are hoping would help ease escalating trade tensions between the two countries.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.25 percent while the Topix index rose 0.23 percent. South Korea’s Kospi traded fractionally higher at 2,116.04.

In Australia, the benchmark ASX 200slipped 0.7 percent in morning trade, with most sectors declining. The heavily-weighted financial subindex was down 0.79 percent while the materials sector fell 0.15 percent.

The session in Asia follows a lower finish on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average snapped a three-day winning streak.

Currency

In the currency market, the dollar last traded at 96.778 against a basket of its peers. The dollar index fell from levels above 97.200 following remarks from the Fed Chair earlier this week which some market watchers took to mean the central bank may stop hiking rates sooner than it had previously signaled.

The yen traded at 113.37 to the greenback while the Australian dollarfetched $0.7323.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) set the yuan reference rate at 6.9357 vs the previous day’s fix of 6.9353.

*Oil prices dip on swelling U.S. supply; OPEC output cuts loom*

Oil prices slipped on Friday after the United States reported a 10th straight weekly gain in commercial crude reserves amid record output.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $51.30 per barrel at 0023 GMT, down 15 cents, or 0.3 percent from their last settlement.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories rose by 3.6 million barrels in the week to Nov. 23 to 450.49 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said this week. Production remained at a record 11.7 million barrels per day (bpd).

Crude reserves increased 6.4 billion barrels, or 19.5 percent, to 39.2 billion barrels at year-end 2017, marginally higher than the previous record of 39 billion barrels set in 1970, the EIA said.

The surge in U.S. supply is part of an emerging oil glut following production increases also in Russia and by the Middle East-dominated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), including from its two biggest producers, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Source : Reuters

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