Article / 08 August 2017 at 7:01 GMT

Morning Markets: Asian stocks mixed after Dow climbs to new peak

Consulting editor / TradingFloor




  • Japan: Balance of payments (published)
  • China: Trade balance (published)
  • US: API weekly statistical bulletin, incl. crude oil stocks (2030 GMT)

Asia-Pacific stocks fell in Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney, while Hong Kong and Seoul shares scored minor gains. 

Japan returned to a trade surplus in June, but China's imports and exports came in below expectations.

China's yuan climbed to a 10-month high on Tuesday as the USD softened and the People's Bank of China set the currency’s trading band slightly stronger.

The Dow rose to its ninth consecutive record close on Monday, and the S&P 500 also reached a new peak close.

St. Louis Fed president James Bullard on Monday advocated leaving interest rates unchanged, saying that even if the jobless rate falls further the effects on inflation are "likely to be small."

Market signals

Asian session

  • Most Asian markets fell or made only slim gains, as stocks paused after recent rises
  • Investors await the release of US inflation data later this week
  • Japan's Nikkei 225 lost ground; it was down 0.32% to 19,991.50 at 0453 GMT
  • Japan posted a ¥518.5bn trade surplus in June, following a deficit in May
  • China’s July exports were up 7.2%, imports were up 11.0%; both lower than expected
  • China's trade surplus rose to a hefty $46.7bn in July from $42.8bn in June
  • Shanghai Composite retreated; it was down 0.18% to 3,273.50 0514 GMT
  • Korea's Kospi Composite edged higher; it was up 0.04% to 2,399.79 at 0510 GMT
  • Hong Kong's Hang Seng made gains; it was up 0.13% to 27,726.68 at 0515 GMT
  • Resources stocks on the ASX were buoyed by another surge in iron ore prices
  • S&P/ASX200 still lost ground; it  closed down 0.59% at 5,739.70
  • ANZ-Roy Morgan's Australian consumer confidence index fell by 4%  
  • Australia's NAB business confidence index rose to 12 points from 8 points
  • NAB's index of business conditions climbed to 15 points, the highest since early 2008 

Forex ahead

  • USD lost ground against JPY; it was worth ¥110.5665 at 0558 GMT
  • AUD rose on upbeat business confidence data; it was worth 0.7923 at 0556 GMT
  • HKD has hit an 18-month low, prompting talk of HK monetary authority intervention
  • USD was worth HKD 7.82270 at 0558 GMT

From the Floor

Underwhelming. "The Chinese trade data were a bit disappointing," says Hardy.

Complacency. "We are getting a little too comfortable [in equity markets] – there’s a lot of complacency," says Garnry. 

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

In opinion

US job openings are projected to fall to their lowest level so far this year, which may suggest that the labour market growth trend is fading, writes James Picerno.

Kiwi falters
The New Zealand dollar has continued to drop following the release of lower-than-expected inflation numbers, says the Singapore-based team at Saxo APAC Sales Trading.

ASX sold off
An iron ore surge was a fillip to resources, but that didn't stop steep losses on the S&P/ASX200, says the Sydney-based team at Saxo Capital Markets (Australia)

Short squeeze
Hedge funds have nearly tripled bullish commodity bets over the past five weeks, while oil and gold shorts have been squeezed again, writes Ole Hansen.

China container port

The port in Shanghai, the world's busiest in container traffic terms. China's July imports and exports missed expectations. Photo: Shutterstock

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