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Small gains for US stocks following weak ISM data
Sep 07,2016

US stocks closed slightly higher on Tuesday, 06 September 2016 with the tech-heavy Nasdaq logging a record close as investors digested a weak services-sector report, which might help convince the Federal Reserve to stay its hand as it considers raising interest rates. The S&P 500 and Dow Industrials both edged higher last week after a weaker-than-expected monthly jobs report on Friday bolstered the view that the Fed wont raise interest rates in September, fueling a rise in stocks and other assets perceived as relatively risky.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 46.16 points, or 0.3%, at 18,538.12. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq Composite rose 26.01 points, or 0.5% to a new closing high of 5,275.91. The S&P 500 index rose 6.50 points, or 0.3%, to close at 2,186.48, led by sharp gains in energy, utilities, and telecom stocks.

The benchmark index erased its opening loss by midday as heavily-weighted health care and technology demonstrated relative strength. The broader market settled near its best level of the day with seven sectors ending in the green. The defensively-oriented telecom services and utilities sectors followed energy on the top of the board. Conversely, financials and industrials led the downside.

Chevron Corp and Boeing shares led the average higher, closing up more than 1%, while shares of Nike, United Technologies, Home Depot and General Electric weighed on blue chips.

The Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its nonmanufacturing index fell to 51.4% last month from 55.5% in July. That was the weakest showing since February 2010. The key takeaway from the ISM report is that it appears as if both the manufacturing sector and the non-manufacturing sector experienced a noticeable slowing of activity in August. U.S. employment data released last Friday had already shown slower overall job growth in August and an unemployment rate holding at 4.9%.

The added takeaway is that the slowdown seen on both sides of the economy will likely leave the Fed reluctant to raise the fed funds rate at its September meeting. A number below 50.0 denotes a general contraction in manufacturing activity.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of six rival currencies, was down 1.1% as gold prices settled. The greenback and dollar-denominated commodities tend to move inversely.

Bullion prices rallied on Tuesday, 06 September 2016 to log their highest settlement in nearly three weeks as a fall in the U.S. service-sector index to its weakest level in over six years appeared to diminish the likelihood of a U.S. interest-rate hike this month, fueling a drop in the dollar.

December gold jumped $27.30, or 2.1%, to settle at $1,354 an ounce. December silver soared higher by 77.2 cents, or 4%, to $20.138 an ounce. Gold prices last week had eked out a weekly gain of less than 0.1%, but lost 3.4% for the month of August, the first monthly loss since May.

Crude oil futures settled on a mixed note on Tuesday, 06 September 2016 with West Texas Intermediate crude ending at a one-week high and Brent crude finishing with a loss as traders eyed a pact between the worlds two largest crude producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia, aimed at stabilizing the market.

October West Texas Intermediate crude rose 39 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $44.83 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after trading as low as $43.84 during the session. November Brent crude meanwhile, fell 37 cents, or 0.8%, to end at $47.26 a barrel after settling Monday up 1.7% at $47.63.

Russian and Saudi officials on Monday said they would set up a working group to monitor the oil market and come up with recommendations to promote stability. The announcement gave a lift to crude prices though those gains faded by afternoon as the news underwhelmed traders who had been hoping for a production freeze.

Treasuries ended on a higher note with yields dropping through the curve. The yield on the 2-yr note ended lower by seven basis points (0.72%) while the yield on the 10-yr note settled lower by seven basis points (1.54%).

Todays participation was above the recent average as more than 835 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor.

Tomorrows economic data will include the 7:00 ET release of the weekly MBA Mortgage Index. Separately, the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for July and the Feds Beige Book for September will cross the wires at 10:00 ET and 14:00 ET, respectively.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks advance on Tuesday
Sep 06,2016

Asia Pacific share market advanced on Tuesday, 06 September 2016, with MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares extending gains to 0.7% to 140.88 after opening slightly weaker, boosted by the chances of more stimulus from central banks in Europe and Japan.

Investors are looking ahead to Thursdays meeting by the European Central Bank, which some expect to expand its stimulus efforts. It could extend the duration of its bond-buying program, though some market analysts expect it is more likely to do so toward the end of the year, when it has more information on the economy. The Bank of Japan, meanwhile, is reviewing its ultra-lax monetary easing. In a speech Monday, Governor Haruhiko Kuroda offered mixed signals.

The Group of 20 major economies wrapped up their annual summit, held in Hangzhou, China, with a stronger commitment to coordinate policies to support growth and promote trade liberalization. The gathering also launched a new initiative to work on curbing excess steel production capacity, especially in China, which may help smooth tensions over the issue.

Crude oil prices were mixed after talks between Russia and Saudi Arabia over ways to stabilize the crude market fell short of an output freeze. audi Arabias Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said at the G-20 summit in China on Monday that theres no need to freeze production. Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 52 cents to $44.96 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $1.28 on Monday. Brent crude, the benchmark for international oil prices, lost 18 cents to $47.45 a barrel.

Among Asian bourses

ASX200 eases 0.29%

Australian share market ended lower for the fourth day in five, after the central bank kept interest rates unchanged. Sentiment remained lackluster following the afternoon release of the Reserve Banks latest policy statement, which revealed rates had been left on hold in September. The RBA eased monetary policy in May and August. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index slid 16 points, or 0.29%, to 5,413.6, while the broader All Ordinaries index eased 14 points, or 0.25%, to 5,510.4.

Australian banking stocks remained mixed following the rate decision, with Commonwealth Bank falling 0.8% to A$71.76 and Westpac erasing 0.3% to A$29.59, while National Australia Bank falling added 0.3% to A$27.70. ANZ was 0.04% weaker at A$27.24.

Energy stocks ended mixed after a rise in crude prices offshore. Santos closed down 0.2% at A$4.42 while Woodside lifted 0.7% to A$28.70. Origin Energy weakened 1.9% to A$5.15 as it revealed a new pipeline plan relating to its giant APLNG project in a move that could shift gas destined for export back to the local market.

Materials ended modestly higher despite patchy showings from some big names. Behemoths Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton both tacked on around 1%, while iron ore miner Fortescue led the way with a 3% surge, but major gold players Newcrest and Regis Resources gave back 2%.

Retail also struggled for direction, with Woolworths adding 0.2%, Wesfarmers yielding 0.2% and Myer dipping 0.6%. JB Hi-Fi shares gained 5.5% to close at A$30.87 after it confirmed it is still working on a deal to buy the homewares chain the Good Guys.

Nikkei up 0.26%

The Japan share market advanced for fifth straight session on the back of yen weakness against greenback and possibilities for stimulus from central banks. All but five of the 33 industry groups on the Topix rose with telecommunication-service providers and banks among groups contributing the most to the gain. The Nikkei average inclined 44.35 points, or 0.26%, to end at 17081.98. The Topic index jumped 8.73 points, or 0.65%, to end at 1352.58.

Banking stocks drove gains on the Nikkei amid expectations that the Bank of Japan may cut back on longer-term bond buying at its next meeting, thus boosting bond yields. Mizuho Financial Group ended up 0.9%, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group added 1.3% and Shinsei Bank closed up 1.8%.

Shares of companies doing business overseas were up as yen weakened against the dollar. A weaker yen helps boost the competitiveness of Japanese exports. Auto makers Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. ended up 1.5%, while Mazda Motor Corp. added 0.7%.

Shares of Amada Holdings Co. sank 5.1% after the metalworking machinery maker said it lowered its payout ratio target to 50% from the 100% it had pledged in May 2014. The Nikkei newspaper had earlier reported that Amada will lower its target.

China Market end firmer

Mainland China stock market closed higher, supported by consumer staples and industrial shares, amid speculation state-run funds intervened in both the equity and currency markets. But gains were limited on concerns that regulators are moving to reduce leverage in the countrys financial markets. The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 0.7%, to 3,342.63 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6% to 3,090.71 points.

Shares of consumer staples and industrial sector were among the top gainers. Automobile shares rallied, led by Anhui Jianghuai Automobile shares which jumped 7.9% and Great Wall Motor Co. added 1.9% on a surge in sales, while CSSC Offshore & Marine Engineering Group Co. advanced 4%.

Gree Electric Appliances Inc., Chinas largest maker of home air-conditioners climbed for a third day on the mainland as it resumed trading following a seven-month suspension.

Hong Kong Market rises for fourth day

The Hong Kong stock market advanced for fourth straight session, buoyed by a flood of capital pouring in from the mainland since last week, as investors there actively hunt for yields in a low-interest rate environment. Last week, Chinese investors spent 17.7 billion yuan ($2.65 billion) buying Hong Kong stocks under the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the biggest weekly inflows since last April. The benchmark Hang Seng Index inclined 138.13 points, or 0.58%, to 23787.68 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, rose 107.82 points, or 1.1%, to 9938.39. Turnover decreased slightly to HK$75.6 billion from HK$76.9 billion on Monday.

Tencent soared 2.3% to HK$215, with its market cap surpassing HK$2 trillion. The stock yesterday already overtook China Mobile (00941) becoming Asias largest market cap enterprise.

Mainland lenders also hit new 52-week highs. CCB (00939), BOC (03988) and ICBC (01398) rose 1.3%-1.4% at HK$6.07, HK$3.7 and HK$5.05. HKEx put on 1.9% to HK$198.1 as its CEO told a London commodity summit that the local bourse plans to replicate LME-like platform in Qianhai of Shenzhen.

Russia and Saudi Arabia agreed to discuss ways to stabilise the oil market, triggering oil price hike of 1%. CNOOC (00883) edged up 0.8% to HK$9.7. PetroChina (00857) inched up 0.4% to HK$5.7.

Auto makers rose across the board on strong sales data. Geely Auto (00175) and GAC Group (02238) gained 3.9% and 3.5% to HK$6.95 and HK$11.28 on Credit Suisses bullish comments. BYD (01211) put on 4% to HK$56.15 after Shenzhen government announced purchase subsidy for new energy cars.

Sensex scales 17-month high

Indian stock market resumed trading after a holiday on Monday to climb a 17-month high after foreign funds bought a net $222 million of local equities last week, taking purchases this year to $6.1 billion. The latest rally on the bourses was also triggered by outcome of a monthly survey showing that August saw a solid rebound in the rate of expansion in Indian service sector business activity. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex jumped 445.91 points or 1.56% to settle at 28,978.02. The Nifty 50 index surged 133.35 points or 1.51% to settle at 8,943.

Infosys rose 1.45% after the company announced that it has entered into a joint venture (JV) agreement with Saudi Prerogative Company (SPC) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to conduct IT services for customers located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Infosys holds 70% while the rest 30% will be held by SPC in this JV.

Index heavyweight and housing finance major HDFC rose 1.29% after the company announced that it has closed the third issue of rupee denominated bonds to overseas investors, aggregating up to Rs 1000 crore. The yield to investor from the bonds is 7.5% per annum payable semi-annually. Maturity date for these bonds is 9 January 2020.

Maruti Suzuki India (Maruti) gained 3.04% after the company announced that its total production rose 3.25% to 1.27 lakh units in August 2016 over August 2015. The announcement was made yesterday, 5 September 2016.

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region: New Zealands NZX50 rose 0.14% to 7514. South Koreas KOSPI index added 0.3% to 2066.53. Taiwans Taiex index grew 1% to 9181.85. Singapores Straits Times index added 1.57% to 28996.55. Indonesias Jakarta Composite index rose 0.3% to 5372.10. Malaysias KLCI rose 0.7% to 1689.92.

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Hong Kong Market rises for fourth day
Sep 06,2016

The Hong Kong stock market advanced for fourth straight session on Tuesday 06 September 2016, buoyed by a flood of capital pouring in from the mainland since last week, as investors there actively hunt for yields in a low-interest rate environment. Last week, Chinese investors spent 17.7 billion yuan ($2.65 billion) buying Hong Kong stocks under the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect, the biggest weekly inflows since last April. The benchmark Hang Seng Index inclined 138.13 points, or 0.58%, to 23787.68 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, rose 107.82 points, or 1.1%, to 9938.39. Turnover decreased slightly to HK$75.6 billion from HK$76.9 billion on Monday.

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China Market ends firmer
Sep 06,2016

Mainland China stock market closed higher on Tuesday, 06 September 2016, supported by consumer staples and industrial shares, amid speculation state-run funds intervened in both the equity and currency markets. But gains were limited on concerns that regulators are moving to reduce leverage in the countrys financial markets. The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen rose 0.7%, to 3,342.63 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.6% to 3,090.71 points.

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Nikkei up 0.26%
Sep 06,2016

The Japan share market advanced for fifth straight session on Tuesday, 06 September 2016, on the back of yen weakness against greenback and possibilities for stimulus from central banks. All but five of the 33 industry groups on the Topix rose with telecommunication-service providers and banks among groups contributing the most to the gain. The Nikkei average inclined 44.35 points, or 0.26%, to end at 17081.98. The Topic index jumped 8.73 points, or 0.65%, to end at 1352.58.

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ASX200 eases 0.29%
Sep 06,2016

Australian share market ended lower for the fourth day in five on Tuesday, 06 September 2016, after the central bank kept interest rates unchanged. Sentiment remained lacklustre following the afternoon release of the Reserve Banks latest policy statement, which revealed rates had been left on hold in September. The RBA eased monetary policy in May and August. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index slid 16 points, or 0.29%, to 5,413.6, while the broader All Ordinaries index eased 14 points, or 0.25%, to 5,510.4.

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US stocks end mostly higher
Sep 02,2016

U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Thursday, 01 September 2016 recovering from earlier losses, as investors braced for the much-anticipated August jobs report on Friday, which could set the stage for a near-term interest-rate increase by the Federal Reserve. The stock market ended the Thursday affair on a flat note as the S&P 500 clawed back the bulk of todays loss. Trading conditions continued to be on the lighter side as market participants wind down recent vacation schedules and look ahead to tomorrows Employment Situation Report for August.Equity indices sputtered at the start of the session as a string of weaker-than-expected economic data weighed on the broader market.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 18.42 points, or 0.1%, higher at 18,419.30. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended with a gain of 13.99 points, or 0.3%, at 5,227.21, benefiting from some buying in tech shares. The S&P 500 index lost 0.09 points, or less than 0.1%, to close at 2,170.86, but well off the session low.

A 2% rise by Wal-Mart Stores and a 1.8% rise by Nike led blue-chip gainers. American Express and Goldman Sachs were the biggest laggards in the gauge.

Dow component Wal-Marts shares rose after The Wall Street Journal reported that the retail giant planned to eliminate 7,000 jobs.

Among economic data expected for the day, stocks took a sharp step lower after a key data point; The Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index in August fell to 49.4% from 52.6% last month. A reading below 50% signals contraction.

A similar but less influential gauge, the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index, fell to 52 from 52.9% in July.

Crude oil futures closed down more than 3% on Thursday, 01 September 2016 carving out another three-week low, as doubts over the potential for a crude-production freeze persisted and data showing a contraction in the U.S. manufacturing activity contributed to expectations of weaker energy demand. Prices for natural gas, meanwhile, dropped over 3% after an increase in weekly U.S. supplies of the commodity came in a bit higher than expected.

October West Texas Intermediate crude fell by $1.54, or 3.5%, to settle at $43.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, with prices down a fourth-straight session. November Brent crude on Londons ICE Futures exchange ended at $45.45 a barrel, down $1.44, or 3.1%.

Gold futures rebounded from two-month lows on Thursday, 01 September 2016 to finish higher, after data showing a fall in U.S. manufacturing activity pressured the dollar and potentially gave the Federal Reserve a little less reason to boost interest rates at a meeting this month. Traders will now look ahead to Fridays monthly U.S. jobs report for further clues on the central banks plans for interest rates.

December gold rose $5.70, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,317.10 an ounce. December silver rose 23.6 cents, or 1.3%, to $18.943 an ounce. For the month of August, however, silver prices declined 8.1%, based on the most-active contract.

Gold fell as the dollar moved lower against its chief rivals. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of six rival currencies, was down 0.3% as gold futures settled.

Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen had reiterated at the Jackson Hole, Wyo. economic summit last week that any decision on rates would be depended on the n++degree to which incoming data continues to confirm the Fed policy committees outlook.n++

The market will get further clues on that front from data set for release Friday. The Labor Department is expected to say the worlds largest economy added 185,000 jobs in August; its report includes government hiring.

Treasuries ended on a mixed note with the short end of the curve demonstrating relative strength. The yield on the 2-yr note ended lower by three basis points (0.78%) while the yield on the 30-yr bond settled flat at 2.23%. For its part, the yield on the benchmark 10-yr note slipped one basis point to 1.57%

Todays participation was below the recent average as fewer than 805 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor.

Tomorrows economic data will include the Employment Situation Report for August (consensus 180k) and the Trade Balance for July (consensus -$43.0 billion), which will each cross the wires at 8:30 ET. Separately, Factory Orders for July (consensus +2.0%) will be released at 10:00 ET.

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Mixed finish for US stocks following rate commentery
Aug 29,2016

US stocks ended a downbeat week on a flat note on Friday, 26 August 2016 as commentary from the Jackson Hole Symposium boosted U.S. rate hike expectations and weighed on the major averages. The Dow Jones Industrial Average settled behind the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite. Equity indices enjoyed a modest bid at the start of the session as investors pored over a less-hawkish-than-feared interpretation of Fed Chair Yellens seminal address. Chair Yellen indicated that the case for a rate hike had improved in recent months, but she also acknowledged that monetary policy is not on a preset course.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index finished lower after comments from Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer doubled down on a speech by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen that asserted the case for a rate increase is gathering steam.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 53.01 points, or 0.3%, to finish at 18,395.40, backing off an earlier 124-point gain, but paring a 113-point loss. The S&P 500 index fell 3.43 points, or 0.2%, to close at 2,169.04. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 6.71 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 5,218.92, after being up about 41 points earlier and down as low as 20 points during the session.

Seven of the 10 index sectors finished in the red. All 10 had been positive earlier in the session. Telecom and utilities, often seen as bond proxies, led the charge lower, while health-care, tech, and financials finished slightly higher. Shares of Verizon Communications and McDonalds led blue-chip decliners.

The dollar saw volatile trading after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellens speech at the Kansas City Feds annual economic symposium at Jackson Hole, Wyoming. She said the case for an increase in the federal-funds rate had strengthened in recent months, but would remain dependent on what incoming data say about the U.S. economy. Chair Yellen indicated that the case for a rate hike had improved in recent months, but she also acknowledged that monetary policy is not on a preset course.

Janet Yellen sent a strong signal the U.S. central bank is preparing to increase rates as soon as next monthn++and Fischers comments furthered that assumption. An increase in U.S. interest rates tends to lift the dollar, which would make oil more expensive for traders who conduct business in other currencies.

But the dollar then turned decidedly higher after Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, said Yellens speech was n++consistentn++ with the possibility of two rate increases this year. Fischer, however, also said that the August jobs report will influence the central banks rate decision, echoing Yellens emphasis on the importance of incoming economic data.

Meanwhile, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester on Friday echoed the recent hawkish sentiments of other Fed members, saying n++it makes sensen++ to start moving interest rates higher.

Bullion prices settled modestly higher on Friday, 26 AUgust 2016 paring earlier gains, as traders eyed moves in the dollar following comments from two top Federal Reserve officials that hinted at a potential U.S. interest-rate hike as early as next month.

December gold tacked on $1.30, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,325.90 an ounce Friday. It had eased back from earlier highs above $1,344 that were hit as Yellen spoke and the U.S. ICE Dollar Index dropped. Gold futures were down about 1.5% for the week, the biggest weekly decline since the week ended July 15. December silver rose 13 cents, or 0.7%, to $18.745 an ounce, leaving the white metal with a 3.6% weekly drop.

Crude oil futures managed to hold on to a modest gain on Friday, 26 AUgust 2016 but finished well off the sessions highs as the U.S. dollar moved sharply higher. Comments from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen, at a closely watched symposium on Friday in Jackson Hole, Wyo., pointed to the potential for an increase in interest rates as early as next month, but she also said action by the central bank will still depend on coming economic data.

October West Texas Intermediate crude rose 31 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $47.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was trading at $47.39 before Yellens speech and touched highs above $48 as she spoke. For the week, prices lost about 3% following gains over the last three weeks.

Ahead of the speech, a second estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product did little to boost stocks, underscoring that the U.S. economy is still muddling along, growing at a lackluster 1.1% pacen++slower than preliminary reading of 1.2% as corporate profits fell.

Among other economic reports, the trade gap narrowed to a seasonally adjusted $59.3 billion in July from $64.5 billion in June.

The University of Michigans final August reading of consumer sentiment slipped to 89.8 from 90.0 in July. The index is 2.3% lower than a year ago. Market had forecast a reading of 91.0.

Treasuries ended on a lower note as yields rose through the curve. The yield on the benchmark 10-yr note finished higher by four basis points (1.62%) while the yield on the 2-yr note finished at 0.84% (+5 bps).

Fridays participation was above the recent average as more than 797 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor.

Mondays economic data will include July Personal Income (consensus 0.4%), Personal Spending (consensus 0.3%), and Core PCE Prices (consensus 0.1%), which will each be released at 8:30 ET.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks weakens as traders eye Fed policy prospects
Aug 26,2016

Asia Pacific share market closed mostly down on Friday, 26 August 2016, as investors remained cautious ahead of important speech later this evening by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen on the outlook for US interest rates.

The market remained on the shady side for the rest of the day, as selling to square positions grew ahead of Fed chief Janet Yellens speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later today. Global central banker will be gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where Yellen will make a speech on Friday, which markets expect will provide fresh clues on the U.S. monetary policy outlook. Markets have been on edge in recent weeks as some Fed officials raised the prospects of a U.S. rate hike as early as September.

Odds that the Fed will boost rates in September have jumped to 32 per cent from 18 per cent at the end of July, while traders are betting theres a 57 per cent chance of tightening in December.

High US interest rates would pull money out of emerging markets and redirect it to the US. Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committees (FOMC) July meeting showed officials were split on whether an increase in interest rate was needed soon.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.2 per cent on Thursday after a report that Irans oil minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh will participate in an informal gathering of Opec members next month in Algiers. Saudi Arabias energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said an oil-output freeze would be positive, while ruling out a production cut.

Among Asian bourses

ASX200 drops 0.48%

Australian share market finished session down, as selloff pressure triggered on caution ahead of speech by US Fed chair Janet Yellen later in the global day. Most of ASX sectors declined, with shares of industrial, realty, energy, financial, and material blue-chip companies being major losers. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index declined 26.40 points, or 0.48%, to 5515.5. The broader All Ordinaries shed 24 points, or 0.43%, to 5607.40.

Today major banks and the big miners lost weight. The Commonwealth Bank dropped 1% to close at A$73.26, while BHP was down 0.7% to A$20.88 and Woodside Petroleum 0.6% to A$29.68. Woolworths lost 1% to close at A$24.90 after yesterdays A$1.5 billion full year loss.

Coca-Cola Amatil, the maker of Coke in Australia, today released its half year results showing a 7.8% increase in profit to A$198.2 million. Its shares lost 4.3% to close at A$9.17.

Mayne Pharma added 3.4% to close at A$1.98 after posting a 379% rise in profit to A$37.4 million.

Cabcharge posted 45% fall in full year profit to A$25.61 million as it writes down the value of its taxi licence portfolio and gets hit by new regulations for lower service fees. Its shares dropped 10% to close at A$3.27.

Nikkei turns lower ahead of Yellen speech

The Japan share market stumbled on following weak lead from Wall Street overnight and on position-adjustment selling ahead of guidance from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen. The Nikkei average lost 41.35 points, or 0.25 percent, to end at 16,555.95. The Topic index fell 2.44 points, or 0.19 percent, to end at 1,304.27.

Exporters such as auto makers tend to suffer from U.S. dollar weakness against the Japanese yen. Yield-curve declines make investments difficult for insurers and hit their margins. Toyota Motor fell 3.4% to 5,911 yen. Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries dropped 1.6% to Y3,756. MS&AD Insurance Group Holdings lost 3.3% to Y2,789. Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Holdings fell 2.8% to Y3,147.

FamilyMart fell 1.4% to Y7,800 after the Japan Fair Trade Commission told the convenience-store operator to pay its contractors a total of Y650 million ($6.5 million) because FamilyMart had violated the law by either collecting money via inappropriate means or failing to make payment in full. FamilyMart said it has accepted the advisory and arranged the payments.

China Market ends marginally up

Mainland China stock market closed marginally above the neutral line, as investors chased for bargain buying after regulators denial that insurance money is getting pulled out of the market. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) late on Thursday denied a market rumour in a local media that 600 billion yuan ($90.17 billion) worth of insurance money would gradually exit the market due to tougher rules. The CSI300 index, which tracks the largest listed companies trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 0.06% to 3307.09 points. The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.06% at 3070.31 points while the Shenzhen Composite index closed up 0.2% at 2023.09 points. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.2 percent for the week.

Banking shares were firm as investors took relief that newly-released earnings by some of countrys biggest lenders didnt show a sharp deterioration in asset quality as many had feared. Bank of Communications (BoCom), which reported near flat first-half profit, saw its bad loan ratio also stay stable from the previous quarter. Disclosure that government-backed funds increased holdings in BoCom by 570 million A shares also helped sentiment.

Hong Kong Market slightly rebound in quiet trade

The Hong Kong stock market fluctuated throughout the day before closing slightly higher, despite the weaker close of the US equity markets overnight, as investors remained cautious ahead of a speech later this evening by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen on the outlook for US interest rates. Most sectors in Hong Kong rose, led by energy and tech stocks. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 94.59 points, or 0.41%, to 22909.54 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, rose 45.26 points, or 0.48%, to 9550.04. Turnover decreased to HK$54.8 billion from HK$68 billion on Thursday.

Banking and insurance sectors were also among the gainers, with China Life Insurance jumping 3.4 per cent to close at HK$19.08 after Deutsche Bank upgraded its target price to HK$31.4.That came after the nations largest insurer said on Thursday night that its first-half net profit fell 67 per cent to Rmb10.4 billion, due to investment losses. But its new business value reached Rmb28,021 million, an increase of 50% from a year earlier. Ping An (02318) edged up 0.3% to HK$40.1. PICC P&C (02328) added 1.3% to HK$12.78. Bank of Communications rose 0.52 per cent to close at HK$5.76 after it reported a 0.9 per cent gain in net profit, which amounted to 37.66 billion yuan late on Thursday. China Construction Bank, however, dropped 0.86 per cent to close at HK$5.77 after it reported a 1.15 per cent profit growth of 133.41 billion yuan.

Mengniu Dairy (02319) surged 5.6% to HK$15.42 on top of yesterdays 12% rally post 1H results. Both JP Morgan and Credit Suisse have upgraded their ratings and target prices for the stock.

The Apple supply chain OEMs became targets of buying. AAC Tech (02018), which is to be included into the HSI, added 1.7% to HK$82 on a 9% interim earnings growth.

ZTE Corp (00763) dived 8.5% to HK$10.58 as Credit Suisse sees bigger-than-expected impact on the overseas business from the US investigation, leading to huge pressure on operating pressure.

Nifty hits lowest closing level in more than 3 weeks

Indian benchmark indices registered small losses after witnessing volatility towards late trade. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, lost 53.66 points or 0.19% to settle at 27,782.25. The Nifty 50 index lost 19.65 points or 0.23% to settle at 8,572.55.

Stocks of public sector banks edged lower. Stocks of private sector banks were mixed. Capital goods stocks edged lower. Index heavyweight Reliance Industries nudged higher. Tata Motors shrugged off weak Q1 results. Biocon gained after European Medicines Agency accepted for review Biocons partner Mylans marketing authorization application for a proposed biosimilar Trastuzumab.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) said in a draft paper on banks large exposure (LE) limit that large exposure limit in respect of each counterparty and group of connected counterparties will be capped at 20% and 25% respectively of the banks eligible capital base under normal circumstances. The eligible capital base will be defined as the Tier 1 capital of the bank as against capital funds at present. A group of connected counterparties will be identified on the basis of control as well as economic dependence criteria. The RBI has sought public comments on the draft LE framework by 15 September 2016.

Separately, RBI has allowed banks to issue rupee bonds overseas (Masala Bonds) for their capital requirements and for financing infrastructure and affordable housing. This was a part of the measures announced by RBI for the development of fixed income and currency markets.

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region: New Zealands NZX50 fell 0.5% to 7391.30. South Koreas KOSPI index declined 0.3% to 2037.50 Taiwans Taiex index rose 0.2% to 9131.72 . Malaysias KLCI was up 0.2% to 1683.09. Singapores Straits Times index dropped 0.7% to 2857.65. Indonesias Jakarta Composite index dropped 0.3% to 5438.83.

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ASX200 drops 0.48%
Aug 26,2016

Australian share market finished session down on Friday 26 August 2016, as selloff pressure triggered on caution ahead of speech by US Fed chair Janet Yellen later in the global day. Most of ASX sectors declined, with shares of industrial, realty, energy, financial, and material blue-chip companies being major losers. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index declined 26.40 points, or 0.48%, to 5515.5. The broader All Ordinaries shed 24 points, or 0.43%, to 5607.40.

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Nikkei turns lower ahead of Yellen speech
Aug 26,2016

The Japan share market stumbled on Friday, 26 August 2016, on following weak lead from Wall Street overnight and on position-adjustment selling ahead of guidance from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen. The Nikkei average lost 41.35 points, or 0.25 percent, to end at 16,555.95. The Topic index fell 2.44 points, or 0.19 percent, to end at 1,304.27.

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China Market ends marginally up
Aug 26,2016

Mainland China stock market closed marginally above the neutral line on Friday, 26 August 2016, as investors chased for bargain buying after regulators denial that insurance money is getting pulled out of the market. The China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC) late on Thursday denied a market rumour in a local media that 600 billion yuan ($90.17 billion) worth of insurance money would gradually exit the market due to tougher rules. The CSI300 index, which tracks the largest listed companies trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 0.06% to 3307.09 points. The Shanghai Composite Index closed up 0.06% at 3070.31 points while the Shenzhen Composite index closed up 0.2% at 2023.09 points. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.2% for the week.

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Hong Kong Market slightly rebound in quiet trade
Aug 26,2016

The Hong Kong stock market fluctuated throughout the day before closing slightly higher on Friday, 26 August 2016, despite the weaker close of the US equity markets overnight, as investors remained cautious ahead of a speech later this evening by Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen on the outlook for US interest rates. Most sectors in Hong Kong rose, led by energy and tech stocks. The benchmark Hang Seng Index added 94.59 points, or 0.41%, to 22909.54 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, rose 45.26 points, or 0.48%, to 9550.04. Turnover decreased to HK$54.8 billion from HK$68 billion on Thursday.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks mixed ahead of Fed remarks
Aug 24,2016

Asia Pacific share market were narrowly mixed on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, with Tokyo gaining slightly on a weaker yen and Shanghai taking a breather with investors looking ahead to remarks at the end of the week from the U.S. Fed chief.

Attention turns to an annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later this week with investors focused on a speech by Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Friday that may confirm and elaborate on recent hawkish statements on the need for a interest rate hike before the end of the year from fellow policymakers.

Among Asian bourses

Nikkei ups 0.6% as yen pause

The Japan share market recouped just enough to yesterday losses, thanks to buybacks of large-cap mainstay issues that reflected a pause in the yens advance against the dollar. The 225-issue Nikkei stock average advanced 99.94 points, or 0.61%, to end at 16597.30 on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The Topix index of all first-section issues grew 9.15 points, or 0.71%, to close at 1306.71. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1287 to 617 and 153 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was up 1.16% to 22.59.

Softbank Group surged 2.46%, after JP Morgan Securities raised its investment rating and stock price target for the mobile phone carrier. Peers KDDI and NTT Docomo were downbeat. The weaker yen gave a lift to automakers Toyota and Nissan, and electronics makers Sony and Canon.

Screen Holdings Co. was the biggest gainer on the Nikkei 225, advancing 7.8%, after Mizuho Financial Group Inc. raised its target price on the stock by 14%, citing improving margins.

Honda Motor Co. added 0.8% following a Nikkei newspaper report that it will raise output capacity for hybrid motors in October.

Furniture shop operator Nitori Holdings Co. lost 5.6% after reporting a slowdown in monthly sales growth. Clothing chain operator Shimamura Co. dropped 8.1% after same-store sales in August slumped 5.5% on the year.

ASX200 clings to gain

Australian share market finished session tad higher, as gain in materials, property trusts, and financials stocks were just enough to offset losses in a number of index heavyweights including Wesfarmers and Telstra. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 7.90 points, or 0.14%, to 5561.70. The broader All Ordinaries added 6.50 points, or 0.12%, to 5653.60.

Ardent Leisure was the biggest winner on the ASX 200, surging 14% after unveiling a 32% rise in annual profit, thanks to rising numbers of Chinese visitors to its theme parks. Sirtex Medical and Spotless Group also posted healthy gains after reporting results.

Qantas, Australias biggest airline, pleased investors by declaring its first dividend in seven years and posting a record profit. Even though the result fell slightly short of expectations and challenges remain, especially in the domestic market, the stock added 1.5%, as the airline flagged further share buybacks.

Telstra was the biggest drag on the benchmark index, losing 3.5% as the telecom traded ex-dividend. Retail and resources conglomerate Wesfarmers was another bluechip weighing heavily on the market, losing 2.2% after recording its worst net profit in 15 years. Other stocks that sold off following earnings reports included A2 Milk, Boral, McMillan Shakespeare and Blackmores.

Aconex lost 6.3%, as the construction software maker on Tuesday reported a 50% rise in revenue and an operating profit of A$13.6 million, which came in slightly below the lofty expectations of the analyst crowd. Both Credit Suisse and Deutsche cut their recommendations by one notch and are now neutral on the stock, mainly due to its high valuation after soaring more than 40% this year.

China Market falls as hopes for policy easing fade

Mainland China stock market closed lower, dragged down by financial and property shares amid receding expectations of aggressive monetary easing. The CSI300 index, which tracks the largest listed companies trading in Shanghai and Shenzhen, fell 0.36% to 3329.86 points. The Shanghai Composite Index closed down 0.12% at 3085.88 points while the Shenzhen Composite index closed up 0.31% at 2030.28 points.

Chinas central bank on Wednesday injected cash into money markets through 14-day reverse repurchase agreements for the first time since February, trimming the prospect of more liquidity injections expectations of further aggressive monetary easing.

The property shares finished lower with subindex losing 1.55%. China Vanke Co was among the top losers, which dropped 2.87%. The financial subindex was down 0.73%.

Hong Kong Market drops 0.77%

The Hong Kong stock declined, as profit booking triggered on fear recent gains were excessive relative to earnings prospects, with Chinese banks leading declines. The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 178.15 points, or 0.77%, to 22820.78 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, declined 79.90 points, or 0.83%, to 9507.09. Turnover increased to HK$62 billion from HK$60.8 billion on Tuesday.

Galaxy Entertainment (00027) slid 3%, becoming worst blue-chip lower ahead of its earnings report tomorrow. Want Want (00151) jumped 3% to HK$5.06, becoming the top blue-chip gainer today, as Macquarie Research said the worst for the company is over, and maintained its outperform rating, with a higher target price of HK$6.7.

ICBC, Chinas largest lender, slid 2% after a momentum indicator rose to levels only seen during one period in the past five years, while China Construction Bank Corp. lost 0.9%. Both have erased their 2016 losses as they jumped at least 10% this month.

China Overseas Land & Investment fell 1.1% after China Merchants Securities analyst John So downgraded his recommendation on the stock. China Vanke Co. lost 0.5% after S&P Global Ratings lowered the outlook on the developers corporate ratings to negative from stable.

Henderson Land (00012) fell 1% after it reported interim earnings of HK$8.6 billion, representing a 13% decline. JP Morgan recommended an underweight while Deutsche Bank rated it a buy. New World (00017) and CK Property (01113) fell 1.5% and 2% to HK$9.75 and HK$54.7.

Sensex settles above 28,000 mark

Indian benchmark indices registered small gains in a lacklustre trading session. The barometer index, the S&P BSE Sensex, rose 69.73 points or 0.25% to settle at 28,059.94. The Nifty 50 index rose 17.70 points or 0.21% to settle at 8,650.30.

Maruti Suzuki India edged higher on reports that a foreign brokerage has upgraded its rating on the stock to buy from outperform with target price of Rs 5,850 per share. Aurobindo Pharma surged after the company announced strong Q1 results. Indian Oil Corporation moved higher after the company said that its board of directors will consider issue of bonus shares along with Q1 June 2016 results on 29 August 2016.

Index heavyweight and software major Infosys nudged higher on reports that the company may get about $60 million (Rs 400 crore) in incremental revenue over the third and fourth quarters of the current financial year (FY 2017) as part of the Rs 1380 crore Goods Services and Tax Network (GSTN) project. Idea Cellular edged lower after the company denied reports that it was in merger talks with Vodafone India.

Welspun India tumbled on reports that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is reviewing Welspuns cotton certification records following Target Corp.s decision to snap ties with the Indian textile maker over a cotton supply dispute.

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region: New Zealands NZX50 rose 0.1% to 7416.09. South Koreas KOSPI index declined 0.3% to 2043.76. Taiwans Taiex index fell 0.2% to 9017.38. Malaysias KLCI was down 0.1% to 1682.06. Singapores Straits Times index rose 0.7% to 2869.57. Indonesias Jakarta Composite index dropped 0.24% to 5403.99.

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Hong Kong Market drops 0.77%
Aug 24,2016

The Hong Kong stock declined on Wednesday, 24 August 2016, as profit booking triggered on fear recent gains were excessive relative to earnings prospects, with Chinese banks leading declines. The benchmark Hang Seng Index dropped 178.15 points, or 0.77%, to 22820.78 points. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, benchmark measure of performance of mainland China enterprises, declined 79.90 points, or 0.83%, to 9507.09. Turnover increased to HK$62 billion from HK$60.8 billion on Tuesday.

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