Asian shares pulled back from a one-and-a-half year peak on Thursday as investors booked profits ahead of holiday trade and awaited further data on the state of the global economy.
Investors were also watching proceedings in Washington where the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives voted to impeach Republican U.S. President Donald Trump for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.
Market reaction, however, has so far been limited as the Republican-controlled Senate is widely expected not to vote to remove Trump from office.
- MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.08%.
- Chinese shares drifted 0.06% lower.
- Australian shares .AXJO were up 0.07%,.
- Japan’s Nikkei stock index .N225 slid 0.12%.
- U.S. stock futures ESc1 edged 0.02% lower in Asia on Thursday.
- In the currency market, sterling GBP=D3 traded at $1.3087 having tumbled more than 3% from an 18-month high struck on Dec. 13 after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party scored a landslide victory in a general election.
- Against the euro, the pound EURGBP=D3 stood at 84.96 pence, close to its weakest since Dec. 4.
- The Australian dollar jumped by 0.25% to $0.6872 after better-than-expected data on the labor market dented expectations for interest rate cuts.
- The yen JPY=EBS held steady at 109.58 per dollar ahead of a Bank of Japan (BOJ) meeting later on Thursday.
- U.S. crude CLc1 dipped 0.08% to $60.88 a barrel in Asia after U.S. government data showed a decline in crude inventories.