Asia fractionally higher; Nikkei up by 0.2% and ASX up 0.13%


Markets in Asia open fractionally higher today, with several major exchanges closed for a Labor Day public holiday.

Australia’s ASX 200 trades up 0.13 percent in early trade, with most sectors higher. The energy sector, however, was down 0.41 percent as oil plays struggled for gains.




Oil Search shares were down 0.28 percent, Santos was down 0.14 percent, Woodside Petroleum was down 0.16 percent, Beach Energy lower by 1.36 percent and Origin Energy fell 1.25 percent. (CNBC)

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.15 percent, with energy names also struggling.. shares of Inpex fell 0.98 percent.

U.S. oil prices fell in morning trade during Asian hours, down 0.24 percent at $49.21 a barrel.

The weeks sets up for several key events. Including central bank decisions in Australia and the United States. Following, it comes a second round of presidential election in France and corporate earnings.

“We have the Fed funds futures pricing at 64 percent chance of a June hike (from the Federal Reserve). But the pricing mechanism could also easily change while we will have pretty much every key piece of U.S. economic data release.”  (Chris Weston, chief market strategist at spread-bettor IG.)


Currency moves


In the currency market, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, last traded at 98.97, dropping from levels above 99.00 reached in the previous week.

Among other currency majors, the yen traded at 111.35 to the dollar. Major exporters were mixed, with Toyota shares down 0.2 percent, Nissan down 0.19 percent, Honda up 0.19 percent and Sony gaining 2.58 percent.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar fetched $0.7484 and the euro traded at $1.0902.


Global Politics


U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that nor U.S. neither China would be satisfied if North Korea tested more missiles. Adding that “we’ll see” if military action would be needed to curb the country’s nuclear ambitions.

Amid rising tensions between the U.S. and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, Trump told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Kim is “going to have to do what he has to do. But he understands we’re not going to be very happy.” Trump added that Chinese President Xi Jinping would feel the same.

  • “If he does a nuclear test, I will not be happy.” Trump said in the interview, and also suggested he was finessing his critiques of China’s trade policy in part to get their support on pressuring Pyongyang.

When asked why the country’s missiles keep exploding, Trump stated “I’d rather not discuss it. But perhaps they’re just not very good missiles. Eventually, he’ll have good missiles.” (CNBC)

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