Article / 27 September 2017 at 7:02 GMT

Morning Markets: Asia-Pac stocks directionless, USD firms

Consulting editor / TradingFloor

MM Table


  • France: Consumer confidence survey (published)
  • Eurozone: Monetary developments in the euro area, M3 (0800 GMT)
  • Czech Republic: Interest-rate decision (1100 GMT)
  • US: Advance report on durable goods (1230 GMT)
  • US: Pending home sales (1400 GMT)
  • US: EIA weekly petroleum status report, incl. crude oil stocks (1430 GMT)
  • US: Donald Trump to speak in Indiana and outline his tax overhaul plan (1800 GMT)
  • New Zealand: RBNZ cash rate announcement (2000 GMT)

Asia-Pacific stocks struggled to find a direction on Wednesday, while the US dollar firmed in the Asian session after Fed chief Janet Yellen on Tuesday expressed support for the continued gradual raising of interest rates.

Yellen said the Fed should "be wary of moving too gradually," according to Reuters.

US stocks closed virtually unchanged in lacklustre trading on Tuesday, with the Dow slipping 0.05%, while the Nasdaq added 0.15% and the S&P500 was up a negligible 0.01%.

The New Zealand dollar dropped to a three-week low against the USD on Wednesday and is down about 1.3% since Saturday’s election failed to produce a clear winner.

US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross warned of a Chinese threat of overcapacity in fast-growing sectors such as robotics and electric cars.

Crude oil prices rose on renewed supply worries.

US president Donald Trump is expected to outline his tax-reform plans in a speech in Indiana on Wednesday. The proposal will include cutting the corporate tax rate to 20% from 35%, doubling the standard deduction for individual taxpayers and slightly raising the bottom tax rate, according to the New York Times.

Market signals

Asian session

  • Wall Street's lacklustre performance on Tuesday left little direction for Asian markets
  • The ASX200 was down 0.27%; and the Nikkei fell 0.36%, despite the weaker yen
  • Brent crude prices rose to near 26-month highs amid supply concerns
  • Donald Trump is expected to announce sweeping individual and corporate tax cuts today
  • Fed chief Yellen's speech helped to firm up prospects of a December rate hike
  • Sharp falls for the leading telco Telstra and insurer QBE weighed on the S&P/ASX200
  • China's industrial profits rose 24% in August from a year earlier, the most in four years

Forex ahead

  • CAD gained on BoC talk of a rate hike
  • USD firmed after Fed chief Yellen's speech
  • USD bounced off Tuesday's low of ¥111.50 to ¥112.36
  • The strengthening USD and weaker copper prices weighed on AUD, which fell 0.23%

From the Floor

US taxation. "Trump’s tax plan could be the key focus in the short term, creating a stronger dollar," Hansen says.

 Something different. "Yellen held a bit of an odd speech," says Hardy.

Get all the latest from Saxo Bank's trading floors in From the Floor, within the hour.

In opinion

Steelmaking trend
BHP sees change underway in steelmaking in China, with Beijing stepping up pollution curbs and mills paying more for higher-grade iron ore, says Saxo Capital Markets Australia.

Grain stockpile impact
Corn prices dropped before the release of stockpile data from the USDA, which is expected to show a record jump in stocks of the grain, says the team at Saxo APAC Sales Trading.


Oil prices have rallied on renewed supply concerns. Photo: Shutterstock

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