Nikkei scales over 2-year high on weak yen, snap election hope

23 September, 2017, 06:36 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • A saleswoman shows a gold earring to customers at a jewellery showroom in Mumbai

Global stock markets inched higher on Tuesday and the dollar dipped as investors awaited signals from the U.S. Federal Reserve on when it will hike interest rates again and start shrinking its balance sheet. A serious boost in geopolitical or economic tensions, such as a war between the US and North Korea or a USA market correction, would take prices to around $1,475 a troy ounce, the report said.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell by 53.70 points or 0.9% to 5,655.40, extending losses for the third straight session and closing at its lowest level in over seven months.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rallied against its peers after the Fed statement, rising to a almost two-month high of 112.53 yen from 112.23 yen on Wednesday.

At a two-day rate review that ended on Thursday, the BOJ maintained the 0.1 percent interest it charges on a portion of excess reserves that financial institutions park at the central bank and also kept its yield target for 10-year Japanese government bonds around zero percent.

Down Under, SPI futures edged up 0.23 percent to 5,727.

The European Central Bank is widely expected to say next month that it will begin scaling back its asset-purchase stimulus programme from January, even though a stronger euro, which dampens inflation, has complicated the outlook. Officials also said they plan to start unwinding the at the US central bank's $4.5 trillion balance sheet next month by reducing its bond holdings, which will gradually increase long-term borrowing rates.

She also said if prices rose too quickly the bank would be able to lift rates quicker.

"If anything, risks to the dollar are skewed to the downside given balance sheet normalisation was already well-telegraphed and should be conducted in a very gradual manner", ING strategists wrote in a note. The Nasdaq composite lost 0.1 percent to 6,456.04.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 0.2 percent. Tata shares rose 1.7 percent. Fortescue Metals is declining more than 1 percent and BHP Billiton is down 0.2 percent, while Rio Tinto is adding 0.2 percent. Japan's Nikkei closed up 0.05 percent and Shanghai added 0.3 percent.

Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, gained 14 cents to $56.15 a barrel in London.

Crude oil prices were little changed amid a wait-and-see mood as ministers from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers meet later on Friday to discuss a possible extension of the 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of supply cuts to support prices.

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