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Aug 26, 2018

Asia markets in mixed territory after Fed comments and China's yuan announcement I CNBC



Asia markets were mixed in early hours trade on Monday after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs on Friday following comments by the U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. This also follows an announcement by China's central bank regarding the yuan's daily midpoint the same day.
Japan's Nikkei 225 was in positive territory in early trade, up by 0.64 percent with most sectors seeing gains.
In Australia, the ASX 200 was down by 0.11 percent, with the heavily weighted financials sector down by 0.39 percent. South Korea's Kospi traded largely flat.
NIKKEI Nikkei 225 Index 22756.22 154.45 0.68%
HSI Hang Seng Index 28016.66 344.79 1.25%
ASX 200 S&P/ASX 200 6261.90 14.60 0.23%
SHANGHAI Shanghai 2729.25 -0.18 -0.01%
KOSPI KOSPI Index 2298.09 4.88 0.21%
CNBC 100 CNBC 100 ASIA IDX 8240.53 69.64 0.85%
Wall Street ended the last trading week in positive territory. The S&P 500 rose 0.6 percent to close at 2,874.69 while the Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.9 percent to close at 7,975.98, a record high close for both indexes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up by 133.37 points to close at 25,790.35.
Last Friday, Powell delivered a speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium in Wyoming, where leading central bankers met to discuss the future of monetary policy. He said "further, gradual" rate hikes were likely in the future, noting the economy is "strong" and able to withstand tighter monetary policy.
Powell's comments came hours after the People's Bank of China announced that it was tweaking its methodology for the fixing of the yuan's daily midpoint in an effort to stabilize the currency market.
In a morning note, Ray Attrill, head of foreign exchange strategy at National Australia Bank, said the "combined impact" of the dollar's weakness following Powell's speech and yuan strength after the China's central bank's announcement will likely be "dominant" as early week influences.
The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, traded at 95.071 at 8:23 a.m. HK/SIN. The Japanese yen traded largely flat against the dollar at 111.29 while the Australian dollar traded with a moderate gain at $0.7339.
Here's a look at the day ahead:
  • China – July industrial profits at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN
  • Hong Kong – July trade at 4:30 p.m. HK/SIN
CNBC's Fred Imbert and Reuters contributed to this report.