Published On: Fri, Mar 11th, 2016

Asia markets mostly down, Shanghai up a 7th straight day


Hong Kong: Asian markets mostly fell Friday following another sell-off on Wall Street while the dollar edged up against the yen ahead of an expected US interest rate rise.

Gold prices extended losses as commodity prices are hurt by the stronger dollar but oil recovered slightly from Thursday´s dips, although a global supply glut is expected to keep a lid on any strong gains.

Tokyo slipped 0.39 percent, Hong Kong dipped 0.47 percent, Seoul was 0.82 percent lower and Sydney was flat.

Shanghai rose 0.15 percent, a seventh-straight advance, after the government put in place measures to support the market in response to a month-long plunge.

US traders retreated for a third straight session Thursday in response to more soft reports, with American Express, Caterpillar and 3M all disappointing.

The below-par results follow similarly downbeat posts from Apple, Microsoft and United Technologies this week, which have fuelled fears about this quarter´s earnings.

The Dow fell 0.67 percent, the S&P 500 dropped 0.57 percent and the Nasdaq gave up 0.49 percent.

Company profits have been pressured by a strengthening of the dollar as the Federal Reserve prepares to hike rates, with bank chief Janet Yellen last week saying she saw a move before the year´s end.

In Tokyo Friday, the dollar was at 124.00 yen, up from 123.90 yen in New York.

The euro edged up to $1.0990 and 136.14 yen from $1.0985 and 136.10 yen.

“With the US dollar likely to keep rising as the Fed prepares to raise rates, there´s still some sort of weakness to come in the commodity space,” Angus Gluskie, managing director at White Funds Management Ltd. in Sydney, told Bloomberg News.

“The earnings outlook in the US is also somewhat subdued as a result of the strong US dollar. We´re not likely to see a massive rally in the next few months.”

On commodities markets gold is sitting at five-year lows as the expected rate hike sees traders flee from the safer sanctuary of the precious metal in search of better returns.

Bullion fetched $1,088.64 an ounce compared with $1,101.86 late Thursday.

Oil rose but continues to be blasted by the strong dollar and worries about a global supply glut.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for September delivery was up 37 cents to $48.82 — around its lowest levels since March — and Brent crude for September gained 26 cents to $55.53 a barrel in morning Asian trade. (AFP)


About the Author

Syed Ammar Alavi

- is Lahore (Pakistan) based journalist & writer with 25-year experience in print, wire and broadcast forms of journalism. His major fields of interest are politics, film,tv,sports, climate change and technology