Indian Morning Briefing: Asian Markets Mostly Higher

GLOBAL MARKETS
DJIA          34930.93   -127.59   -0.36%
Nasdaq        14762.58    102.01    0.70%
S&P 500        4400.64     -0.82   -0.02%
FTSE 100       7016.63     20.55    0.29%
Nikkei Stock  27686.76    105.10    0.38%
Hang Seng     25900.89    427.01    1.68%
Kospi          3236.91      0.05    0.00%
SGX Nifty*    15751.00     -4.0    -0.03%
*Aug contract

USD/JPY 109.80-81  -0.10%
Range   109.96   109.69
EUR/USD 1.1853-56  +0.09%
Range   1.1860   1.1841

CBOT Wheat Sep $6.886 per bushel
Spot Gold  $1,816.10/oz 0.5%
Nymex Crude (NY) $72.27 $0.62


U.S. STOCKS

Stocks mostly edged lower after the Federal Reserve hinted that it was getting closer to curtailing its asset- purchasing program that has helped juice the U.S. economic recovery.

The broad S&P 500 index fell less than 0.1%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.4%. The technology- heavy Nasdaq Composite, however, climbed 0.7%.

Stocks have been hovering near all-time highs, with all three indexes having closed at records Monday.

Investors have bet on strong corporate earnings, the economic rebound, and continued support from central banks' easy monetary policies. But their optimism has been tempered in recent days by concerns about the Delta variant of Covid-19, China's regulatory crackdown and the risk of persistently high inflation.

ASIAN STOCKS

Japanese stocks were up, led by gains in electronics and auto stocks, thanks to hopes for an earnings recovery and easing of the yen's recent strength. Earnings results will be closely watched, including those from Murata Manufacturing, Fanuc and Fujitsu Ltd. later in the day. The Nikkei Stock Average was up 0.4% at 27694.89.

South Korea's Kospi was up 0.3% at 3247.21 in early trading, led by electronics and shipbuilding companies. Solid corporate earnings were supporting investor sentiment. Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics edged 0.1% higher after opening marginally lower and posting above-consensus 2Q earnings on brisk memory-chip demand. Shipbuilders were among the top gainers thanks to an upbeat earnings outlook.

Hong Kong shares rose sharply in morning trade, extending Wednesday's rebound from heavy losses earlier this week. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 2.0% to 25993.10. IG said optimism may arise from a virtual meeting between China's securities regulator and major global investment banks yesterday, suggesting authorities might be concerned about the recent regulatory clampdown's impact on Chinese companies.

Chinese stocks rose in early trade, reversing four straight sessions of losses. Investor sentiment may have been lifted by news that China's securities regulator met with global investment banks last night in a bid to calm market jitters. The Shanghai Composite Index climbed 0.8% to 3388.66, the Shenzhen Composite Index rose 1.8% and the ChiNext Price Index was 2.7% higher.

FOREX

Asian currencies were mixed against the U.S. dollar, as traders digested the FOMC statement and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell's comments. The statement seemed to have just minor tweaks from June's, DailyFX.com said. Powell acknowledged that "the economy has made progress" toward attaining the U.S. central bank's long-term inflation and employment goals but also indicated that "substantial further progress" is needed to warrant beginning tapering, DailyFX.com noted. USD/ KRW was little changed at 1,150.91, while AUD/USD fell 0.2% to 0.7361 and USD/TWD was up 0.1% at 27.98.

METALS

Gold rose in the morning Asian session amid an uncertain Fed outlook. While the FOMC's policy statement was somewhat hawkish, the Fed confirmed at its press conference that it will keep an accommodative stance until its goals are met, Oanda said. The good news for gold was that Treasury yields didn't rally, which should solidify the stringent conditions required for tapering and for raising interest rates, Oanda said. Spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,816.10/oz.

OIL SUMMARY

Oil prices edged lower in Asia trading after solids gain of about 1.0% overnight. The possible resumption of Iran's oil exports remains a key downside risk for oil prices, CBA said. Iran's president-elect Raisi will officially take office on Aug. 5, which provides a clearer timeline for a resumption of talks to revive a nuclear deal with world powers, CBA said. Front-month WTI crude oil futures were down 0.1% at $72.35/bbl. Front-month Brent crude oil futures dropped 0.1% to $74.67/bbl.

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  (END) Dow Jones Newswires
  07-28-21 2318ET
  Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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