Asian stocks sagged ahead of China data

Asian stocks sagged on Friday ahead of key Chinese data that could provide more clues on how heavily the U.S.-Sino trade war is weighing on the economy, while oil prices were supported by supply concerns after attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Asian Stocks

  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged down 0.3%.
  • Shanghai Composite Index down 0.3%.
  • Australian stocks added 0.15% and Japan’s Nikkei climbed 0.3%.
  • The S&P 500 index is up about 5% so far for the month.

Currency

  • The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was little changed at 97.074 after ending the previous day nearly flat, with caution ahead of the next week’s Fed meeting keeping the greenback in a tight range.
  • The euro was steady at $1.1273 while the greenback inched down 0.05% to 108.345 yen.
  • The Australian dollar extended overnight losses and fell to a three-week low of $0.6892.
  • The Aussie has lost 1.4% this week, during which soft domestic labor data added to expectations of a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Commodities

  • In commodities, Brent crude futures rose 0.6% to $61.69 per barrel after rallying 2.3% the previous day.
  • U.S. crude gained 0.35% to $52.46 per barrel after rising more than 2 percent on Thursday.
  • Spot gold advanced towards a 14-month high of $1.348.08 an ounce hit last week as trade and political concerns, along with U.S. rate cut expectations, lifted the precious metal.

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