The greenback and U.S. Treasury yields rose on Wednesday following tax reform headlines out of Washington. For their Thursday trade, markets in Asia will look to those stateside developments, but they’ll also watch the release of a barrage of China data due later in the morning.
Tax reform was back in the spotlight in the U.S. after House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that a plan from Republicans would be released the week of Sept. 25.
While “nothing concrete” was announced, “there is a growing feeling that something will be done amid [President Donald] Trump’s bipartisan approach along with the need for Republicans to score some runs ahead of next year’s election,” said National Australia Bank Currency Strategist Rodrigo Catril in a morning note.
Optimism over tax reform led to yields of the 10-year U.S. Treasury note rising to 2.19 percent on Wednesday, above the 2.17 percent seen in the prior session.
The developments out of Washington also gave the dollar a lift overnight. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of rival currencies stood at 92.520 at 6:52 a.m. HK/SIN, compared to levels around the 91 handle seen earlier this week. The dollar also strengthened against the yen, with it last fetching 110.46 yen.
Investors also noted the bounce in U.S. producer prices in August, although the 0.2 percent increase on month was weaker than expected.
Back in Asia, futures implied a lower open for equities in Japan. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were down 0.4 percent at 19,785 and Osaka futures were 0.58 percent lower at 19,750 at 6:12 a.m. HK/SIN. The Nikkei 225 closed at 19,865.82 in the previous session.
Down Under, SPI futures were most unchanged, trading higher by 0.05 percent at 5,747 compared to the S&P/ASX 200’s Wednesday close of 5,744.256.
On Wall Street, stocks closed at record levels despite mostly flat trade during the session. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.18 percent, or 39.32, to close at 22,158.18 and the S&P 500 advanced 0.08 percent to end at 2,498.37.
Despite a fall in Apple stock, the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.09 percent to finish the session at 6,460.19. Taiwan-listed Apple suppliers had closed down on Wednesday, although South Korean Apple suppliers fared slightly better.
The economic calendar for Thursday is fairly packed, with a barrage of China data expected to be closely watched by investors (all times HK/SIN):
- 9:30 a.m.: Australia August labor force
- 10:00 a.m.: China fixed asset investment, industrial production and retail sales
- 2:30 p.m.: India wholesale price index
- 4:00 p.m.: China new yuan loans
- 4:40 p.m.: Hong Kong industrial production
Outside of Asia, the Bank of England will announce its interest rate decision at 7:00 p.m. HK/SIN. The central bank is widely expected to leave interest rates unchanged. The unemployment rate in the country dropped to 4.3 percent in the three months ending in July, but wage growth failed to impress, Reuters reported.
On the energy front, Brent crude rose 89 cents to settle at $55.16 a barrel and U.S. crude added $1.07 to settle at $49.30. The gains in oil prices came after the International Energy Agency said the oversupply of crude was beginning to shrink, according to Reuters.
Source: cnbc china
Asian shares search for direction as investors await China data