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Asian markets mixed with company news driving trade

Wednesday 03:30 BST

What you need to know

  • Tokyo stocks climb as financials suffer in Sydney
  • Hong Kong markets closed due to severe typhoon
  • Crude prices pare Tuesday gains
  • Hong Kong dollar hovers near decade low

Overview

Asia-Pacific equities were putting in a mixed performance as Hong Kong’s exchange called off morning trade on account of weather, while crude oil prices pulled back from a recovery in the previous session and the dollar gained ahead of this week’s meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole.

Hot topic

Asia-Pacific equities were mixed with Hong Kong traders staying home in the face of a severe typhoon.

Japanese stocks were leading the region higher, with the Topix rising 0.5 per cent. Uniqlo owner Fast Retailing gained 1.3 per cent after workers at one of the retailer’s Toronto stores voted against unionising.

In Sydney the S&P/ASX 200 index dipped 0.1 per cent after an initial rise, with utilities down 1.4 per cent and information technology stocks falling 1.2 per cent. Insurance Australia Group fell as much as 10 per cent after forecasting low single-digit growth in gross written premiums for its 2018 financial year.

Hong Kong’s stock exchange was closed for the morning session as Typhoon Hato bore down on the territory.

Forex and fixed income

The Hong Kong dollar was again flirting with a decade low against its US counterpart, as it weakened fractionally to HK$7.8264 two weeks after the city’s de facto central bank moved to shore up the currency.

The New Zealand dollar was the worst performer in the region, off as much as 0.7 per cent at $0.7232 after the New Zealand Treasury lowered its growth estimate for the year to June to 3.5 per cent from 3.7 per cent.

The Australian dollar was down as well, dropping as much as 0.4 per cent to $0.7883, on track for a second day of losses as it pulls back from the psychologically significant threshold of $0.80.

The Japanese yen was slightly firmer, up 0.1 per cent on the greenback at ¥103.65.

The dollar index tracking the US currency against a basket of peers was flat at 93.558.

Bonds were falling in Asia trading, driving yields higher. The yield on 10-year Australian government bonds rose 3 basis points to 2.67 per cent, while that on the equivalent Japanese notes was up 1 basis point at 0.035 per cent.

The 10-year US Treasury yield was unchanged at 2.213 per cent.

Commodities

Crude oil prices were pulling back from gains made in the previous session. Brent crude, the international benchmark, was off 0.5 per cent at $51.63 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, was 0.4 per cent lower at $47.66.

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