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US stocks and dollar gain ahead of Asian trade

U.S. stocks gained and the dollar edged up ahead of Asia’s Wednesday trading day as investors awaited the unveiling of China’s new leadership line-up.

Tax reform was in focus stateside following news that House Republicans would introduce a tax bill on Nov. 1. The plan’s release will follow an expected House vote on a budget measure passed by the Senate last Thursday.

Stocks on Wall Street closed higher following the release of several strong quarterly corporate reports. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.72 percent, or 167.80 points, to close at a record 23,441.76. Other major indexes made moderate gains: The S&P 500 tacked on 0.16 percent to close at 2,569.13 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 0.18 percent to end at 6,598.43.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was slightly firmer in the last session. The dollar index stood at 93.772 at 7:06 a.m. HK/SIN, off a session low of 93.682. The greenback also edged up against the Japanese currency to fetch 113.94 yen, compared to levels around the 113.4 handle seen on Monday.

In Asia, futures pointed to a higher open for Japanese equities. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were up 0.53 percent at 21,920 and Osaka futures were 0.43 percent at 21,900. The benchmark index rose for the 16th straight session on Tuesday — its longest ever win streak.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.14 percent in early trade.

Ahead, investors awaited the unveiling of China’s new leadership line-up following the conclusion of the country’s 19th Party Congress on Tuesday. Of note, Chinese President Xi Jinping’s name was officially enshrined in the party’s constitution on Tuesday.

In currencies, the euro ticked up slightly overnight ahead of the European Central Bank’s Thursday meeting. Investors are expecting details from the central bank on tapering in its quantitative easing program. The common currency traded at $1.1765 at 6:51 a.m. HK/SIN.

“Whatever the outcome, the ECB is likely to sound a very cautious tone stressing that inflation is below target, the need for ongoing monetary accommodation and the flexibility it retains in adding to the planned QE purchases if necessary,” ANZ Research said in a morning note.

The pound fell to its lowest levels in about two weeks overnight. Reuters attributed the decline to a lack of certainty over the Bank of England’s interest rates decision at its next meeting. Sterling last traded at $1.3132 after falling as low as $1.3125.

On the energy front, oil prices rose overnight. Saudi Arabia’s energy minister had said cutting oil inventories to a five-year average was still a priority, Reuters reported. Brent crude added 1.7 percent to settle at $58.33 a barrel and U.S. crude futures rose 1.1 percent to settle at $52.47.

The economic calendar for Wednesday is fairly light (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 8:30 a.m.: Australia third-quarter inflation rate
  • 4:30 p.m.: Indonesia third-quarter foreign direct investment

— CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

Source: cnbc china
US stocks and dollar gain ahead of Asian trade

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