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Categorized | Currencies

Asia equities subdued as US pauses for Thanksgiving


Posted on November 25, 2016

Friday 2.25am GMT.

Overview

Equities markets across Asia were mostly higher in a session kept subdued by Wall Street’s Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. The US dollar continues to climb, though, most notably pushing the yen to its weakest level in eight months.

Standout story

Japan is still the main news in Asia on Friday. Continued strength in the US dollar is keeping the yen under pressure, with the Japanese currency breaking through the ¥‎113 mark on Thursday and approaching ¥‎114 to the dollar on Friday.

That is helping exporters lead the Japanese stock market higher, with the Topix benchmark on track for an 11th straight day of gains.

But there was also some encouraging news for the economy as Japan looked to be shaking off the spectre of deflation. Data released on Friday showed that headline consumer prices turned positive in October for the first time since February, while a measure of underlying inflation that strips out food and energy prices rose last month after registering zero growth in September.

Currencies

In general, foreign exchanges are where the fireworks have been this week, with the likes of the Chinese renminbi, Indian rupee, Malaysian ringgit and Philippine peso all hitting multi-year lows against the US dollar.

On Friday the yen was the worst performer among Asian currencies, 0.4 per cent weaker at ¥‎113.72 per dollar. Next worst was the Malaysian ringgit, down 0.2 per cent, while the Australian dollar was the best performer, up one-third of 1 per cent.

Equities

Japan’s benchmark Topix was up 0.7 per cent, while the Nikkei 225 gained 0.8 per cent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6 per cent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.3 per cent. China’s Shanghai Composite was down 0.4 per cent, and the technology-focused Shenzhen Composite shed 0.6 per cent.

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