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Asia markets mixed after Trump threat to shut US government

Thursday 03.30 BST

What you need to know

  • Euro hovers at eight-year high against sterling
  • Brent oil holds on to gains
  • Hong Kong stocks rise as typhoon departs

Overview

Asia Pacific stocks were mixed on Thursday as markets bucked Wall Street’s dip following Donald Trump’s comments on the possibility of a government shutdown and investors awaited the start of the Jackson Hole symposium.

Hot topic

Trading resumed in Hong Kong after the city’s exchange cancelled Wednesday’s trading as Typhoon Hato battered the territory.

The Hang Seng was up 0.9 per cent with the information technology sector gaining 2.5 per cent. Macau casino stocks slipped as analysts said disruption caused by Hato could impact gaming revenue. Galaxy Entertainment fell as much as 2 per cent and Sands China was down as much as 1.6 per cent.

In Japan the Topix index was 0.1 per cent lower as information technology stocks slipped 0.1 per cent, while energy stocks rose 0.4 per cent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX was up 0.1 per cent as earnings season continued. The materials sector was the biggest gainer with miner South32 up 3.5 per cent after its earnings for the 2017 financial year were boosted by higher commodity prices.

The S&P 500 shed 0.4 per cent on Wednesday following Mr Trump’s pledge to build a wall along the border with Mexico even “if we have to close down our government” by blocking spending approvals.

Forex

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of peers, was 0.1 per cent stronger at 93.278, clawing back from a 0.4 per cent fall in the previous session.

The euro was hovering around the eight-year high against the pound — excluding sterling’s October “flash crash” — seen on Wednesday at £0.92292. The single currency was 0.1 per cent lower against the dollar at $1.1798.

The Japanese yen weakened to ¥109.19 per dollar.

Fixed income

The yield on the 10-year US Treasury, which moves inversely to price, was down 3.8 basis points at 2.175 per cent.

Commodities

Oil prices were largely holding on to gains after Brent crude settled 1.4 per cent higher on Wednesday as the Energy Information Administration said US crude stockpiles fell by 3.3m barrels last week. Brent was trading at $52.56 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate was down 0.1 per cent at $48.38 a barrel.

Gold was down 0.3 per cent at $1,287.79.

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