Asian shares edge up before ECB decision

Asian shares rose while the euro stayed near two-month lows as soft economic data fuelled hopes the European Central Bank could cut rates at its meeting on Thursday.

Asian Shares

Japan’s Nikkei, touched nearly three-month highs before trimming gains to be up 0.33%. Australian shares neared a 12-year peak, driven by expectations the ECB and the Federal Reserve will soon lower borrowing costs.

Chinese blue-chips gained 0.48%, adding on the previous day’s gains, as investors looking forward to the next week’s face to face metting between U.S. and China negotiators.

However, shares in South Korea fall 0.7% as leading chip makers shed recent gains due to trade tensions between Seoul and Tokyo. Shares in Taiwan also fell.

In currency markets, the greenback against six major currencies was flat at 97.724. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar was barely lower at 108.15.

The British pound was trading down 0.05% at $1.2475 after falling for several sessions as markets participants feared the possibility of no-deal Brexit with the new prime minister, Boris Johnson.

“If talks between the UK and EU break down, the GBP could see further losses,” said Steven Dooley, currency strategist at Western Union Business Solutions.

In commodities, U.S. crude added 18 cents to $56.06 per barrel while Brent crude climbed 14 cents to $63.32.

Spot gold slipped 0.3% to $1,422.06 an ounce, short of last week’s peak of $1,452.60.

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