Asian markets mostly lower though Australia holding on to above 4400 level

<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.

Join our live webinars for the latest analysis and trading ideas. Register now

GAIN Capital UK Limited (trading as “City Index”) is an execution-only service provider. This material, whether or not it states any opinions, is for general information purposes only and it does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. This material has been prepared using the thoughts and opinions of the author and these may change. However, City Index does not plan to provide further updates to any material once published and it is not under any obligation to keep this material up to date. This material is short term in nature and may only relate to facts and circumstances existing at a specific time or day. Nothing in this material is (or should be considered to be) financial, investment, legal, tax or other advice and no reliance should be placed on it.

No opinion given in this material constitutes a recommendation by City Index or the author that any particular investment, security, transaction or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person. The material has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research. Although City Index is not specifically prevented from dealing before providing this material, City Index does not seek to take advantage of the material prior to its dissemination. This material is not intended for distribution to, or use by, any person in any country or jurisdiction where such distribution or use would be contrary to local law or regulation.

For further details see our full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.