Tokyo, Japan (BBN)-Asian markets were mixed on Thursday as the dollar fell from 14-year highs this week and oil prices slipped during Asian hours after surging more than 2 per cent overnight.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 traded weaker, down 0.12 per cent after the yen strengthened against the greenback, as the dollar’s momentum waned overnight, reports CNBC.
Electronics conglomerate Sharp was up 3.41 per cent to 304 yen a share, extending yesterday’s gains of more than 8 per cent.
Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.25 per cent in early trade, with energy, materials and financial plays broadly climbing.
The gold sub-index was also strongly higher, up 2.12 per cent as the yellow metal hit a four-week high.
Gold miner Newcrest Mining was up 1.74 per cent to A$20.70 per share, while Evolution Mining jumped 0.71 percent to A$2.125.
In South Korea, the Kospi was down 0.2 per cent.
LG Display slipped 0.64 percent at 31,250 won per share, while Samsung Electronics was down 1.16 per cent at 1,787,000 won, after LG Display chief executive said the company was in talks with Samsung Electronics about supplying TV panels, although more concrete details have yet to be released.
Mainland Chinese shares were nearly flat, with the Shanghai composite up 0.08 per cent and the Shenzhen compositedown 0.032 per cent.
China’s Caixin services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) for December rose to its highest reading since July 2015 at 53.4 compared to 53.1 in November.
This further boosts the view that China’s economy is gaining ground, after manufacturing PMI readings earlier this week also came in stronger than expected.
Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng gained 1.08 percent, after the Nikkei Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) for December showed that the private sector economy might be on the cusp of a recovery, with a reading of 50.3, compared to November’s PMI at 49.5.
A survey reading above 50 indicates expansion, while a figure below 50 represents contraction.
The Hong Kong dollar, which is pegged to the greenback, moved weaker within its trading band after the data.
The dollar fell against a basket of currencies from its highest levels in 14 years this week.
The greenback traded at 102.23 on Thursday during Asian hours, slipping from Wednesday’s high at 103.44.
Among other currency majors, the euro traded at $1.0519, while the yen fetched 116.43, compared to levels above 118 yesterday and the Australian dollar was at $0.7289.
US Federal Reserve’s December meeting minutes were released on Wednesday, showing that Fed officials voted for the first interest rate hike in the year, based on market reactions to Donald Trump’s surprise win and in anticipation of aggressive fiscal policy ahead.
Kathy Lien, managing director of foreign exchange strategy at BK Asset Management, said the minutes suggested the Fed’s optimism was based solely on Trump’s ability to follow through on his campaign promises for major tax cuts and big spending.
“In other words, the Fed is betting on Donald Trump delivering, which is a risky gamble,” said Lien.
The Fed raised interest rates in December for just the second time in a decade and forecast three rate hikes for 2017.
But the minutes also revealed that the Fed was concerned about a stronger dollar, and that more fiscal stimulus could raise demand above sustainable levels.
During Asian trade, the West Texas Intermediate futures slipped 0.23 percent at $53.14 per barrel, while global benchmark Brent dipped 0.32 percent to $56.28.
Oil prices had added more than 2 percent overnight, with “a weaker dollar helping crude’s cause, as did the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) surprising 7.4 million barrel drawdown in inventory late in the session,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA, in a note on Thursday.
Spot gold was up 0.81 per cent at $1,172.86 per ounce, at a four-week high.
Meanwhile, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 60.4 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 19,942.16.
The S&P 500 gained 12.92 points, or 0.57 per cent, to end at 2,270.75, while the Nasdaq composite advanced 47.92 points, or 0.88 per cent, to close at 5,477.