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Stocks markets across Asia were mixed on Wednesday after disappointing earnings and weak US data pushed Wall Street lower overnight and as investors readied themselves for a handful of central bank meetings this week.
The Federal Reserve delivers its policy decision on Wednesday, followed by the Bank of England on Thursday. But both are expected to keep monetary settings on hold, just like the Bank of Japan did yesterday.
The market rally triggered since Donald Trump was elected US president is still going through a rough patch. His decision late on Monday evening in the US to dismiss acting attorney general Sally Yates for opposing his travel ban barring entry for people from seven Muslim-majority nations saw the dollar slide.
Compounding that were US employment cost, home price, manufacturing activity and consumer confidence data released on Tuesday that suggested the country might still be stuck in a shallow growth trajectory.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng returned from the lunar new year long weekend, and played catch-up by falling 1 per cent for its biggest one-day drop in six weeks.
Japan’s Topix was down 0.3 per cent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.4 per cent.
The US dollar index was stabilising in Asia today after shedding a combined 1 per cent in the previous two sessions that had seen it close below 100 for the first time since November 11, just after the US election. The dollar index was up 0.2 per cent at 99.692 on Wednesday.
That prompted a turnround for other Asian currencies, with the yen 0.2 per cent weaker at ¥113.06 per dollar. The Australian dollar fell 0.4 per cent at $0.7553 after a gauge of manufacturing activity fell by the most in six months.
Gold was flat at $1,210.26 an ounce and following a three-day winning streak. Brent crude, the international oil marker, was down 0.2 per cent at $55.46 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate was off 0.2 per cent at $52.72.
A previous version of this post incorrectly said the BoE’s decision was on Wednesday.