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Asia

Asia markets to keep an eye on China's Party Congress as dollar firms

The dollar climbed and the Dow Jones industrial average cracked a record level ahead of Asia’s Wednesday trading day.

The U.S. currency rose to its highest levels in a week as markets speculated over President Donald Trump’s choice of a candidate to succeed Janet Yellen as Federal Reserve Chair. Stanford University economist John Taylor, regarded by market watchers as more hawkish than Yellen, is currently seen as a front-runner, according to media reports. Trump is expected to make his decision early in November.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six currencies, climbed to a one-week high on Tuesday following the news. The index stood at 93.486 at 6:45 a.m. HK/SIN. Against the yen, the greenback was nearly flat at 112.17.

Elsewhere, the Bank of England was in the spotlight after U.K. inflation rose 3 percent in September, its fastest pace since 2012. Investors are watching the central bank’s next meeting in November after BoE Governor Mark Carney indicated last month that interest rates could increase in coming months.

Markets will also keep an eye on developments in China as the country’s 19th Party Congress begins. Key data from the world’s second-largest economy, including September industrial production and third-quarter GDP numbers, are due on Oct. 19.

In Asia, futures pointed to a higher open for the Nikkei 225, which posted gains for the 11th straight session on Tuesday. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were up 0.23 percent at 21,385 and Osaka futures were 0.07 percent higher at 21,350. The index closed at 21,336.12 in the last session.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.05 percent in early trade.

Singapore and Malaysia markets are closed for a public holiday.

On Wall Street, U.S. stocks broadly rose on strong earnings reports. The Dow Jones industrial average touched the 23,000 mark for the first time on Tuesday before closing up 0.18 percent, or 40.48 points, on the day at 22,997.44.

Other major indexes were more subdued: The S&P 500 advanced 0.07 percent, or 1.72 points, to close at 2,559.36 and the Nasdaq shed 0.01 percent, or 0.35 points, to end at 6,623.66.

In corporate news, Rio Tinto was charged with fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Reuters reported. The mining company had allegedly inflated the price of assets in Mozambique, Reuters said. Rio Tinto said in a statement that it would “vigorously defend itself” against the “unwarranted” case brought by the SEC. Shares of the miner traded in Australia were down 0.92 percent in early trade.

On the energy front, oil prices steadied overnight after a choppy session. Investor worries over supply due to geopolitical tensions in Iraq were offset by expectations of higher U.S. oil exports. Brent crude futures added 6 cents to settle at $57.88 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled 1 cent higher at $51.88.

Source: cnbc china
Asia markets to keep an eye on China's Party Congress as dollar firms

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