Gold at 2 year highs, yen gains on continued nervousness

Markets in Asia were more stable on Thursday although there was still some ongoing nervousness owing to the fallout from Brexit. Not helping sentiment was the Federal Reserve’s concern about the health of the US labour market, as it voiced this view in the minutes of the latest policy meeting that were released on Wednesday.

Sterling recovered from an early session decline to trade 0.1 per cent higher in mid-morning trade at $1.2945 in Asia. On Wednesday the pound fell to a new 31- year low after a number of large UK commercial property funds froze redemptions by clients on Tuesday. Three more fund managers followed suit overnight.

The Japanese yen was 0.4 per cent stronger at ¥‎100.95 per dollar, eyeing a third straight day of gains, while the euro was down 0.1 per cent at $1.1087.

The Australian dollar was trading flat at $0.7518 after Standard & Poor’s downgraded its outlook on the nation’s “AAA”-rated debt to “negative”. The aussie initially sank by as much as 0.7 per cent following the announcement.

The dollar index, a measure of the US currency against a basket of global peers, was 0.1 per cent higher today at 96.101.

Gold, which is sensitive to monetary policy expectations, was up 0.4 per cent to a two-year high of $1,368.68 an ounce and eyeing its seventh-straight day of gains. The precious metal has risen in the aftermath of the the Brexit vote on bets global central banks will keep monetary policy accommodative for longer, if not restart easing.

In oil markets, Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up one-quarter of one per cent at $48.92 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate was 0.4 per cent higher at $47.64.

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