Asian markets ended the week on a positive note, following from Wall Street’s more upbeat tone. Japan’s Nikkei gained 1.5 per cent, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 1 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was 0.9 per cent higher. In China, the Shanghai Composite was up 0.6 per cent and the tech-focused Shenzhen Composite was 0.5 per cent higher.
Shanghai stocks were up 5.5 per cent this week and on course for their best performance since the week ended August 14, while a 7.8 per cent rise for Shenzhen stocks was their best since June 5.
Data from the US helped lift the dollar, pushing up the dollar index 0.2 per cent on Friday to 94.538, extending a 0.5 per cent gain on Thursday. Gold was down 0.3 per cent at $1,179.60 an ounce this morning due to the stronger dollar, as the two assets tend to have an inverse price relationship. That was weighing upon almost all Asian currencies this morning, with the Indonesian rupiah, Malaysian ringgit and Philippine peso the three-worst performers.
The Australian dollar did not perform that well either and was down 0.4 per cent at US$0.7299. Declines came as the Reserve Bank of Australia released its semi-annual stability report in which it said risks to the Australian economy lie primarily with the housing market, although banks and households look well-placed to cope with any difficulty.
The Japanese yen was 0.2 per cent weaker, as USD/JPY rose to 119.19.
Oil prices rose early on Friday, rebounding after multiple days of decline. Brent crude, up 3.2 per cent to $50.27, was eyeing for its first positive session in six, while West Texas Intermediate was up 1.4 per cent and on track to end a four-day losing streak.
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