During the first half of today’s Asian session, the US budget agreement has seen Asian markets hold on to decent gains following their US counterparties where all major indices closed the session up over 2%. Asian stock markets mostly opened higher and majority are still in the positive territory, continuing their gain in momentum over the last six weeks.
Japanese markets are closed for holidays until January 4th and the absence of data has left JPY trading on broader market sentiment with USD/JPY trading range bound at present but with marginal losses. Meanwhile, the ASX 200 is one of the outperformers, led by basic material sector which is benefited by a recent roaring rally in the iron ore price. Also during the US session, Nymex crude oil futures touched a three-month high.
In terms of data releases, with a sparse economic calendar, the reading of Chinese service PMI has been today’s main focus. The number climbed to 56.1 from 55.6, which confirms China’s steady growth revival, following on from the promising HSBC manufacturing PMI we also saw earlier this week.
Looking ahead, the session is expected to remain light on volumes as the two biggest weighted markets in Asia, Japan and mainland China are closed for market holidays. However, Hong Kong retail sales data is scheduled to be released at 0830GMT/0230CST. Please note, the biggest risk event of this week - US nonfarm payroll data is set to hit the wires on Friday.
As of 0255 GMT:
ASX200 (+0.54%), Hang Seng (+0.19%), KOSPI (-0.33%), Taiwan TAIEX (+0.60%)
02 Jan 2013 - 21:04 - - Source: Newswires
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