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Asian markets track US lower ahead of GDP data

Friday 03.15 BST

What you need to know

  • Dollar hovers at 13-month low
  • Swiss franc weakens further
  • Brent crude holds above $51 a barrel

Asia equities tracked Wall Street lower ahead of US gross domestic product figures for the second quarter, to be released later on Friday.

Hot topic

Japan’s Topix index was down 0.2 per cent as technology stocks fell 0.8 per cent, following on from a sharp fall in technology shares in the US. The Topix’s consumer discretionary sub-index slipped 0.3 per cent. Carmaker Nissan fell as much as 4.8 per cent after the company reported a 1.1 per cent decline in net profit in the first quarter, falling short of analysts’ forecasts.

In Australia the S&P/ASX 200 was down 1.2 per cent as financials fell 1.6 per cent and materials slipped 1.1 per cent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was off 0.5 per cent with the information technology sector falling 0.8 per cent as Tencent and Apple supplier AAC fell.

Forex

The dollar index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of peers, was flat after edging up on Thursday but still near a 13-month low.

The Swiss franc dropped against the euro to SFr1.13123, its lowest level since the Swiss central bank unpegged the franc in January 2015.

The Australian dollar was 0.2 per cent weaker at $0.7956 after retreating back below a two-year high of $0.80 overnight.

The Japanese yen strengthened against the dollar to ¥111.11.

Fixed income

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury, which moves inversely to price, rose 1.2 basis points to 2.3 per cent. The yield on 10-year Japanese government bonds was up 0.9bp, while that for Australian notes was steady at 2.685 per cent.

Commodities

Oil edged lower with international benchmark Brent down 0.1 per cent at $51.46 a barrel, but is on track for a 7.1 per cent gain for the week. US marker West Texas Intermediate fell by the same amount to $49.01 a barrel.

Gold was flat at $1,259.36 an ounce.

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