|04 July, 2019

Thursday outlook: Asian shares rise on the prospect of Fed rate cut

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3%, tracking a rise on Wall Street overnight

An investor watches a board showing stock information at a brokerage office in Beijing, China October 8, 2018.

An investor watches a board showing stock information at a brokerage office in Beijing, China October 8, 2018.

REUTERS/Jason Lee
  • Stocks rise on Fed rate cut expectations
  • Oil prices drop following Wednesday’s gains
  • Middle East markets see mixed performance
  • Dollar drops, gold steadies

Global markets

Asian shares rose in early trading on Wednesday as data pointed to slowing economic growth in the United States, bolstering the prospect of rate cuts by the Federal Reserve as soon as this month.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3%, tracking a rise on Wall Street overnight.

“Stocks and bonds rallied together as the markets were betting on interest rate cuts at the European Central Bank and the U.S. Federal Reserve,” Noriko Miyoshi, head of fixed income at Simplex Asset Management in Tokyo, told Reuters.

“The pace looks too fast. Investors across the world rushed to take part in the game of yield hunting,” she said.

A report by a payrolls processor ADP showed U.S. companies added jobs in June, but fewer than what analysts had forecast, raising concerns the labor market is softening even as the current U.S. economic expansion marked a record run last month, according to a Reuters report.

Oil prices

Oil prices edged lower early on Thursday following gains in the previous session.

Front-month Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 0.4% at $63.60 per barrel by 0112 GMT. Brent closed up 2.3% on Wednesday

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were down 0.3% at $57.18 per barrel. WTI closed up 1.9% on Wednesday.

“The U.S. oil market remains oversupplied,” Edward Moya, senior analyst at OANDA, told Reuters.

Middle East markets

The Saudi index rose 0.2% on Wednesday with Al Rajhi Bank rising 0.6% and National Commercial Bank up 0.7%.

In Dubai, the index dropped 0.5% after four days of gains, pressured by a 1.3% fall in Emaar Properties and a 0.4% drop in its largest lender Emirates NBD.

The Abu Dhabi index edged up 0.2% with First Abu Dhabi Bank, the United Arab Emirates' largest lender, closing 0.7% higher.

Qatar's index edged up 0.1%. Telecommunications operators Ooredoo jumped 3.2% while Vodafone Qatar was up 0.4% ahead of their stock split on Thursday.

Egypt's blue-chip index traded flat with Telecom Egypt adding 2.2% and market heavyweight Commercial International Bank slipping 0.5%.

Kuwait’s premier market index added 0.8 percent, Bahrain’s index gained 0.5 percent and Oman’s index dropped 0.9 percent.

Currencies

The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies was slightly lower at 96.712.

Precious metals

Gold prices steadied following gains on Wednesday.

Spot gold was broadly unchanged at $1,418.60 per ounce at 0119 GMT. Prices touched $1,435.99 on Wednesday, the highest since June 25.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.1% at $1,421.7 an ounce.

Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

(gerard.aoun@refinitiv.com)


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