Asian share markets hovered near four-month highs on Thursday with Australian equities the star performer while the New Zealand dollar sank after disappointing jobs data prompted investors to narrow the odds of a future rate cut.
- MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.1 percent.
- Australia’s benchmark stock index jumped 1.2 percent.
- London’s FTSE futures was down 0.2 percent
- The Australian dollar duly dived 1.8 percent and gave a broad fillip to the U.S. dollar. The currency was last at $0.7098.
- The dollar index has now risen for five straight sessions to reach 96.44.
- The euro, which was dragged back to $1.1359.
- The dollar could make no headway on the yen, which benefited from its own safe-haven status, and idled at 109.95.
- Gold, which eased to $1,303.96 per ounce
- Oil prices eased too after U.S. crude inventories rose and as production levels in the country held at record levels.
- Brent crude futures slipped 23 cents to $62.46.
- U.S. crude eased 19 cents to $53.82 a barrel.
- Two-year yields dropping 8 basis points to 1.66 percent, well below the 1.75 percent cash rate.