Thursday 22nd August: Asian markets trade flat as investors look forward to Powell’s comments at Jackson Hole

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Global Markets:

  • Asian Stock Markets : Nikkei up 0.05%, Shanghai Composite down 0.07%, Hang Seng down 1.11%, ASX up 0.29%
  • Commodities : Gold at $1511.45 (-0.28%), Silver at $17.05 (-0.61%), Brent Oil at $60.12 (-0.30%), WTI Oil at $55.56 (-0.22%)
  • Rates : US 10-year yield at 1.559, UK 10-year yield at 0.471, Germany 10-year yield at -0.688

News & Data:

  • (CAD) Trimmed CPI y/y 2.10% vs 2.00% expected
  • (CAD) Median CPI y/y 2.10% vs 2.10% expected
  • (CAD) Common CPI y/y 1.90% vs 1.80% expected
  • (CAD) CPI m/m 0.50% vs 0.10% expected
  • (GBP) Public Sector Net Borrowing -2.0B vs -3.7B expected
  • (AUD) MI Leading Index m/m 0.10% vs -0.10% previous
  • ASIC proposes ban on the sale of binary options to retail clients, and restrictions on the sale of CFDs
  • Korea: JPN’s Export Curbs Could Be More Damaging To Economy Than Tariff Hikes- Chip Exports Will Likely Continue To Fall y/y
  • Japan says gaps remain with U.S. on trade after ‘very tough’ talks

Markets Update:

Asian stocks are restricted to tight ranges at press time with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index flashing a long-term bear market signal, despite the positive cues overnight from Wall Street following upbeat earnings results from retail giants and the release of minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting.

Investors remained cautious as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to deliver a closely-watched speech on the challenges for monetary policy at the Economic Policy Symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, on Friday.

Japanese shares traded flat on Thursday after manufacturing activity in the country shrank for a fourth straight month in August. The benchmark Nikkei 225 was flat, while the Topix index was down 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index declined 1.1% while Australia’s ASX 200 added 0.3%. Mainland Chinese markets traded mostly lower: The Shenzhen component index fell by 0.1%, the Shenzhen composite flat and the Shanghai composite was down by 0.2%.

Oil prices gained Thursday during Asian trading hours, although U.S. crude inventories fell by 2.7 million barrels last week, which was more than expected. The dollar bounced overnight, and was last at 98.247 against a basket of currencies from a low of 97.948.

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