Asia markets to focus on China Q2 GDP; dollar defensive after softer US data – CNBC

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Asia markets focused on China second-quarter GDP on Monday following a mix of better-than-expected earnings from major banks, but weaker U.S. inflation data released last Friday.

U.S. consumer prices were unchanged in June, data showed on Friday. Meanwhile, annual inflation in the U.S. increased 1.6 percent in June, lower than expectations of a 1.7 percent rise. The softer data led market watchers to believe the Federal Reserve could postpone hiking interest rates this year.

That weaker-than-expected data dented the dollar last Friday. The dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of currencies, traded as low as 95.088 in the Friday session compared to a high of 95.834. The dollar index edged up slightly to trade at 95.131 at 6:40 a.m. HK/SIN Monday.

Against the yen, the greenback was mostly flat at 112.52 after falling last Friday. The dollar had traded around the 113 handle for most of last week.

In Asia, futures tipped Australian equities to open lower. SPI futures were off 1.06 percent at 5,704 compared to the benchmark index’s Friday close of 5,765.119.

Japan markets were closed for Marine Day.

Ahead, investors anticipated a barrage of China economic data due at 10:00 a.m. HK/SIN. That included second-quarter GDP, industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investments.

The world’s second-largest economy grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter of the year compared to a year earlier, above the 6.8 percent forecast.

Also on the economic calendar, Singapore June non-oil exports (NODX) data is due.

In the U.S., stocks closed higher on Friday. JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo kicked off earnings season by posting better-than-expected earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.39 percent, or 84.65 points, to close at 21,637.74 and the S&P 500 advanced 0.47 percent, or 11.44, to close at 2,459.27. Both indexes finished the session at record levels. The Nasdaq gained 0.61 percent, or 38.03 points, to end at 6,312.46.

In commodities, oil prices settled higher by around 1 percent last Friday. Brent crude futures rose 49 cents to settle at $48.91 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 46 cents to settle at $46.54.

In currencies, the Australian dollar traded at $0.7820 at 6:57 a.m. HK/SIN after climbing for five straight sessions last week.

Asia markets to focus on China Q2 GDP; dollar defensive after softer US data – CNBC}

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