Most Asian markets up ahead of meetings
ASIAN markets mostly rose yesterday as traders gear up for huge central bank meetings in the US and Japan, hoping authorities press on with their loose monetary policies.
Concern that years of cheap cash could be coming to an end has roiled markets this month with conflicting comments from top Federal reserve officials over the need for an interest rate hike fuelling uncertainty.
And a lack of any concrete promises from Tokyo about the Bank of Japan’s plans has also been cause for worry, with years of bond-buying and government spending having little impact on the country’s torpid economy.
“There are growing concerns about the limits of monetary policy’s impact on growth,” Bernard Aw, a markets strategist in Singapore at IG Ltd, said in an email to clients.
“Unlike the Fed, where investors have a binary view – hike or no hike – of US monetary policy, the BoJ presents a complicated situation. Governor [Haruhiko] Kuroda has repeatedly stressed they still have many policy tools at their disposal.”
Hong Kong rose 0.9 percent as investors returned from a three-day weekend to play catch-up with the September 16 regional rally.
Shanghai, which was also closed, was up 0.6pc while Seoul gained 0.6pc and Singapore added 0.4pc. Sydney, however, was 0.3pc lower.
Tokyo was closed for a public holiday yesterday.
The dollar held on to most of last week’s gains against the pound and euro after the release of data showing an uptick in inflation during August.
On oil markets, prices climbed as fighting erupted in Libya, with forces loyal to the UN-backed unity government launching an offensive on September 18 to retake key ports seized last week by fighters from a rival administration.
The commodity had fallen to a one-month low before the unrest in the country, which has Africa’s largest reserves. West Texas Intermediate was up 76 cents at US$43.79 and Brent added 74 to $46.51.
However, gains will be limited owing to a global supply glut and overproduction. Traders are keenly awaiting a meeting between OPEC and Russia next week aimed at addressing the issue, although there are worries about the chances of a deal being reached. –