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Asia

Asian shares to focus on Korean Peninsula tensions, softer dollar

Geopolitical tensions in the Korean Peninsula ramped up in recent days and the dollar slipped on the back of U.S. GDP figures ahead of the market open in Asia Monday.

U.S. GDP grew at 2.6 percent in the second quarter, according to the Commerce Department’s advanced estimate released Friday. While the reading met expectations, the 1.9 percent growth recorded in the first half of the year suggested it was unlikely that full-year growth would exceed 2.5 percent, Reuters said.

The dollar edged down on Friday following the news. The dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of six major currencies, traded as low as 93.256 in the Friday session after hitting as high as 93.867 earlier in the day. The dollar index stood at 93.324 at 6:45 a.m. HK/SIN Monday.

Against the Japanese currency, the greenback fetched as little as 110.53 yen after trading as high as 111.33 on Friday. The dollar last traded at 110.55 yen.

Markets are also expected to keep an eye on geopolitical developments in the Korean peninsula after North Korea test launched a projectile on Friday. In response, the U.S. flew two B-1B bombers over the peninsula and urged countries in the region to do more to tackle the issue.

Futures tipped a marginally higher open for Japanese equities. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago and Osaka were both up 0.05 percent at 19,970 compared to the benchmark index’s last close of 19,959.84.

Australian SPI futures were off 0.79 percent at 5,658 against the S&P/ASX 200’s Friday close of 5,702.818.

Stocks closed mixed on Wall Street Friday as markets saw a fall in Amazon.com stock after the company missed on earnings. The S&P 500 edged down 0.13 percent, or 3.32 points, to close at 2,742.10 and the Nasdaq slid 0.12 percent, or 7.51 points, to end at 6,374.68. The Dow Jones industrial average bucked the trend to rise 0.15 percent, or 33.76 points, finishing the session at 21,830.31.

In corporate news, Japan’s Panasonic, Mizuho Financial Group and Japan Airlines, as well as Hong Kong’s HSBC are expected to report earnings.

Ahead, the economic calendar is fairly eventful, with many investors watching monthly PMI data out of China (all time in HK/SIN):

  • 7:50 a.m. Japan June industrial production
  • 9:00 a.m. China July official manufacturing and services PMI
  • 10:00 a.m. Singapore June bank lending
  • 11:30 a.m. Thailand June industrial production

Source: cnbc china
Asian shares to focus on Korean Peninsula tensions, softer dollar

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