Asian stocks stepped back from near eight-month highs

Asian stocks stepped back from near eight-month highs on Thursday and the dollar eased as European and U.S. central banks reinforced investor worries about the global economic outlook and trade protectionism.

Asian stocks

  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.3.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index stumbled 0.6 percent.
  • Chinese shares were subdued with the blue-chip CSI300 off 1 percent.
  • Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.3 percent as the yen strengthened.
  • On Wall Street, the S&P 500 added 0.35 percent, the Nasdaq climbed 0.7 percent while the Dow was barely changed.

Currency Markets

In currencies, the British pound was slightly higher after European leaders agreed to extend the deadline for UK to leave the union to the end of October, averting a potential crash out of the bloc on Friday with no divorce deal.

  • The British pound was slightly higher at $1.3099.
  • The dollar index fell for a fourth straight day to 96.931.
  • The euro was barely changed at $1.1277.
  • Japanese yen paused after three days of gains at 111.04.

Commodities

  • In commodities, Brent futures eased 16 cents to $71.57 a barrel.
  • U.S. crude dipped 27 cents to $64.34.
  • Gold hovered near a two-week top on Thursday at $1,307.03 an ounce.

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