Wednesday 03.20 BST
What you need to know
- Hong Kong tech stocks rise on Apple earnings
- Brent crude pushes further below $52
- New Zealand dollar leads losses in region against greenback
- Commodities dip overnight drags on Australian stocks
Hong Kong’s tech sector climbed higher on better than expected results from Apple overnight but a drop in commodities prices overnight dragged on Australian equities. Brent crude pushed further beneath the $52 a barrel mark as the New Zealand dollar dipped on unexpectedly negative employment data.
In Hong Kong the Hang Seng index was up 0.5 per cent as technology stocks climbed 1 per cent. Those gains were driven in large part by Apple supplier AAC Technologies, which rose as much as 8.7 per cent after the US tech giant reported a 12 per cent jump in quarterly income on Tuesday.
Commodities weakness overnight was dragging down Australian stocks, with a 1.2 per cent fall from materials stocks pulling the S&P/ASX 200 index down 0.5 per cent. Miner BHP Billiton was down 2 per cent, while rival Rio Tinto was off 0.6 per cent ahead of its quarterly earnings report due out after market close.
Tokyo’s Topix was up 0.3 per cent, with Honda Motor gaining as much as 5 per cent after the automaker raised its forecasts for the financial year on better than expected quarterly sales and profit reported on Tuesday.
Forex and fixed income
The New Zealand dollar led losses in Asia Pacific trade, dipping 0.7 per cent against its US counterpart to $0.7416 following second quarter employment data that showed a drop in employment for the three months ended June. Yield, which moves opposite to price, on the 10-year New Zealand government bond was also down 6 basis points at 2.956 per cent.
The Australian dollar was back below the $0.80 mark at $0.7945 as sentiment continued to soften following the decision on Tuesday by the Reserve Bank of Australia to stand pat on interest rates.
The yen was hovering around ¥110.5 after firming briefly to the ¥110 level on Wednesday.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of peers, was up 0.1 per cent at 93.123. Yield on the 10-year US Treasury was up 1 basis point at 2.266 per cent.
Crude oil prices were dropping further in Asia trade after concerns mounted overnight about persistent oversupply.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, was trading at $51.36 a barrel, down another 0.8 per cent after dropping below the $52 mark on Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate, the US marker, was off 0.9 per cent at $48.74.
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