Listen to this article
Stocks around Asia were rising ahead of Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday, buoyed by another record close for Wall Street and higher oil prices.
On Monday, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average both inched 0.1 per cent higher to record closing highs. It was the 12th-straight record close for the Dow.
Investors now turn their attention to Mr Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday. A lack of clarity surrounding his administration’s economic policies has slowed the market rally that began when he was elected president in November. Notably, the ascent of the US dollar slowed, while government bonds have recovered slightly from an initial post-election sell-off.
Japan’s Topix was up 0.9 per cent, with strong gains for oil and mining stocks as commodity prices climbed, while energy stocks led a 0.4 per cent advance for Australia’s S&P/ASX 200.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was down 0.1 per cent, while China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.1 per cent.
The Australian dollar was the top performer in Asia, up 0.1 per cent to $0.7683, after data showed the country posted its narrowest current account deficit since 2001 during the December quarter. The data have helped quell concerns data tomorrow could show the country suffered a recession for the first time since 1991 during the December half.
The Japanese yen was 0.1 per cent firmer at ¥112.56 per dollar. The currency initially weakened following data that showed an unexpected contraction in industrial production during January.
The dollar index was marginally higher at 101.16 and eyeing a third straight day of gains.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, was up 0.3 per cent at $56.10 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate gained 0.2 per cent to $54.15.
Gold was fractionally higher at $1,253.23 an ounce.