Asian markets mostly lower though Australia holding on to above 4400 level
City Index March 28, 2012 9:00 AM
<p>Offshore leads saw Asian stocks fall again today but like yesterday, Australia was the exception as the S&P/ASX200 consolidates above recent resistance levels. Chances of […]</p>
Offshore leads saw Asian stocks fall again today but like yesterday, Australia was the exception as the S&P/ASX200 consolidates above recent resistance levels.
Chances of a rate cut in Australia are firming as traders interpret comments from members of the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) this week. Next Tuesday’s RBA meeting might see another 0.25% rate cut now that banks have seen their borrowing costs ease and have the capacity to pass cuts through.
The Australian dollar was soft for most of the trading session, last buying 1.0368 against the US dollar, down from its intra-day high of 1.0404. In other currencies, the Euro continues to hang onto its recent gains, last buying 1.3325 against the US dollar.
Recent comments around austerity and fiscal strategies perhaps not performing to plan seem to be sidelined at this stage. Japan’s retail sales rose more than economists’ forecast in February, indicating that consumer confidence is returning as reconstruction demand boosts the world’s third-biggest economy. The Japanese Yen continues to hang on to its recent modest gains against the dollar which last bought 82.72. Japanese retail sales firmed by 3.5% compared to the same period last year.
In regional corporate news, Leighton Holdings was among the largest corporate news stories in Australia with its large continuation of project write-downs today.
In Hong Kong, China’s largest non-life insurer – PICC Property & Casualty Co. – fell by its largest amount in three weeks after operating profit missed market estimates.
Still, to put Chinese growth expectations into perspective, net income managed to grow by 52% – a growth rate that many other financial companies in developed markets will no doubt envy.
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