Halfway through today’s session Asian markets trade mixed amid a number of notable market closures. In terms of market closures we have mainland China closed for the golden week holiday until 2nd May and Japanese markets closed today for Showa day. With two of Asia’s main markets closed there has been light volumes and news flow. The ASX 200 is the best performing despite pre-market reports that the Australian government will post an unexpected budget deficit to the tune of AUD 11bln. Elsewhere the KOSPI is weighed by the oil & gas sector due to the decline in oil prices since the last close of the Korean market. Offshore China is open today with the Hang Seng failing to hold on to early gains, being initially supported by the technology sector, in particular Tencent holdings who are gaining by around 3%.
In the FX market GBP/USD is the outperformer trading above the 1.55 handle, at its highest level since February 18th and has been on a striking run since the impressive Q1 GDP print where the UK avoided an unprecedented triple dip recession. AUD/USD also trades with gains above the 1.03 handle, once again benefiting from advances in the spot gold price. News from over the weekend that Italy’s new PM has been officially sworn in and has announced a government, breaking Italy’s 2-month political deadlock, was supportive of EUR/USD at the open. With Japan closed JPY has experienced some strength adding to Fridays gains.
Looking forward the calendar is light and we are expecting the release of Chinese Leading Index but as is usually the case with Chinese data there is no scheduled time.
As of 03:33BST:
Hang Seng (-0.07%), KOSPI (-0.32%), ASX 200 (+0.50%).
28 Apr 2013 - 21:30 - - Source: Newswires
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