Asian traders cautious, dollar climbs
ASIAN investors trod warily in holiday-thinned trade yesterday and the dollar climbed after last week’s drop on below-par US jobs data.
The labour department said on October 7 that fewer jobs than expected were created in the world’s top economy in September.
The news left the main indexes on Wall Street in negative territory and sent the dollar lower against the yen.
However, analysts said the figures were unlikely to prevent the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates by year’s end.
The dollar was at 103.10 yen from 102.93 yen in New York yesterday.
In share trading, Shanghai, which was closed last week for a national holiday, ended up 1.5 percent, while Sydney closed 0.2pc higher.
Singapore and Wellington eased, while Bangkok tumbled 3pc. Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taipei were closed for public holidays.
Seoul ended up 0.2pc but Samsung Electronics was battered by reports that it had suspended production of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 handset after distributors stopped offering replacements because of continued safety concerns.
Asian sentiment was given a lift by the tape of Donald Trump making lewd comments about women, which analysts said could deal a severe blow to his presidential hopes.
“It tends to be the case that when it looks more likely that [Hillary] Clinton will win, markets tend to rally,” Shane Oliver, Sydney-based head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors, told Bloomberg News.
Others said they considered Ms Clinton was still favoured to beat Mr Trump after a vicious second debate late Sunday, but warned of volatility ahead of the November 8 election.
Sim Moh Siong, a currency strategist at Bank of Singapore, said: “Clinton should still maintain” her lead. For risky assets, it’s still a bumpy period heading into November 8. There’s still a third debate coming up.”
Booming exports meanwhile pumped up Germany’s trade surplus in August, as calls grow for Europe’s largest economy to use the cash it brings in to nurture growth.
Firms exported 102.3 billion euros ($114.3 billion) of goods in August 2016 adjusting for seasonal and calendar effects, the federal statistics office Destatis said.
That was an increase of 5.4pc over July’s figure, which had seen exports fall to their lowest level since January 2015 in the wake of Brexit.
Germany imported 80.1 billion euros of goods in August, a slower increase of just 3pc over the previous month’s value – leaving the trade surplus standing at 22.2 billion euros.
Exports to EU countries outside the euro single currency saw the strongest growth, gaining 11.8pc.
Sales of German goods to fellow members of the 19-nation eurozone also grew strongly, up 8.8pc, while sales to the rest of the world increased by 9.6pc. –