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Mixed finish for US stocks following Fed minutes
Oct 13,2016

U.S. stocks finished in a mixed mode but mostly higher on Wednesday, 12 October 2016 after minutes from the Federal Reserves September policy meeting showed support for a rate rise relatively soon but implied a go-slow approach. Rising bond yields and a strengthening dollar remained focal points in todays action as investors looked to substantiate their rate hike outlook with the minutes from the FOMCs September 20-21 meeting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 15.54 points, or 0.1%, at 18,144.20. The S&P 500 index advanced 2.44 points, or 0.1%, to finish at 2,139.17. The Nasdaq Composite Index finished lower on the session, declining 7.77 points, or 0.2%, to close at 5,239.02, pressured by a slide in the biotech sector.

Shares of Nike and Travelers led the rise. Eight sectors finished in positive territory while three - health care, energy and materials ended the day with a loss. The S&P was led higher by the real estate, utilities and telecom sectors.

The minutes from the FOMCs September policy meeting indicated that there were a number of arguments for raising rates in September, but that the committee opted to wait for further data. All in all, there wasnt really any new news in the minutes, which essentially reinforced preconceived policy notions held by the market ahead of their release. Those notions revolved around a belief that the next hike in the target range for the fed funds rate will most likely occur at the December 13-14 FOMC meeting, barring any big economic potholes hit along the way. The next Fed meeting is scheduled for Nov. 1-2.

The dollar index moved 0.3% higher today.

Todays economic data at Wall Street included the weekly MBA Mortgage Index and the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey for August 2016. The MBA Mortgage Index indicated that mortgage applications fell 6.0% in the week ending 8 October 2016. This followed a 2.9% increase in the prior week. The August Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey showed that job openings came in at 5.443 million from a revised 5.831 million (from 5.871 million) in July.

Crude oil futures fell on Wednesday, 12 Octobeer 2016 at Nymex as uncertainty over Russias willingness to cut production and a monthly rise in output from OPEC members sent prices lower for a second session in a row.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, November West Texas Intermediate crude fell 61 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $50.18 a barrel after losing 1.1% a day earlier. December Brent crude on Londons ICE Futures exchange lost 60 cents, or 1.1%, to $51.81 a barrel.

Lack of a clear commitment by Russia to slash production is exacerbating investors doubts whether or not the preliminary agreement OPEC members reached in late September to cut output by 200,000 to 700,000 barrels a day will be implemented. A condition of the cut is the understanding that Russia would be on board.

Bullion prices settled lower on Wednesday, 12 October 2016 at Comex. Gold futures settled lower pressured by modest gains in the dollar, but prices headed higher in electronic trade after the Federal Reserve released minutes from its September meeting. The minutes, which were released after gold futures settled for the session, showed that officials from the central bank held off raising interest rates in September even though they said there was a reasonable argument for an increase.

December gold settled at $1,253.80 an ounce, down $2.10, or 0.2%, for the session. It traded up at $1,257 an ounce in electronic trading about a half-hour after the FOMC minutes. Prices, however, had seesawed above and below the settlement level in the immediate wake of the release. December silver settled little-changed at $17.505 an ounce. December copper ended at $2.177 a pound, down just under a penny, or 0.4%.

Todays trading volume fell came in below the recent averages of 926 million as 655 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Tomorrows economic data will include weekly initial claims report (consensus 255k) and the Import/Export Price report for September, both of which will cross the wires at 8:30 a.m. ET. Separately, the Treasury Budget for September will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET.

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Mixed and flat finish for US stocks
Oct 07,2016

U.S. stocks finished on flat and mixed note on Thursday, 06 October 2016. Investors abstained from making big bets ahead of Fridays much-anticipated September jobs report. Stocks sold off in early trade, but the market recouped much of its losses after a high-ranking European Central Bank official repudiated reports that the central bank had discussed tapering its bond-buying program.Aside from central bank policies and economic data, earnings are looming as an important market driver.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 12.53 points to finish at 18,268.50. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 9.17 points, or 0.2%, to close at 5,306.85, pressured by losses in biotechs. The S&P 500 index edged up 1.04 points to close at 2,160.77, with the materials sector topping the gains.

Sharp losses in Wal-Mart Stores and American Express weighed on the blue-chip benchmark. Wal-Mart Stores shares fell 3.2% after the retailer provided a lackluster outlook for 2017 at an investor meeting. Wal-Mart is a component of both the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials.

Trading was generally tepid as investors awaited Fridays jobs data, which will help them gauge the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates before the end of 2016. Ahead of the jobs report, Thursdays weekly jobless claims report pointed to extremely low levels of layoffs, suggesting that employers are reluctant to part with workers in a tight market.

Meanwhile, ECB Vice President Victor Constancio reportedly said there is no consensus to wind down bond purchases. There were earlier reports this week that bank officials had reached an informal consensus to taper the ECBs quantitative-easing efforts sooner than expected. The denial from the ECB is in keeping with market expectations that the ECB is reluctant to exit its quantitative-easing program and that it is more inclined to extend its loose monetary policy stance beyond March.

Mr. Constancio briefly rallied global bond markets when he denied reports from earlier in the week that suggested the central bank has held discussions about tapering its asset purchase program. That headline boost proved to be short-lived, however, as Treasury prices soon started to fade again, pushing yields back up.

Todays economic data was limited to Challenger Job Cuts for September and weekly initial claims. September Challenger Job Cuts reported in at 44,300, which compares to the prior months reading of 32,200. For the week ending 1 October, initial claims decreased by 5,000 to 249,000 (consensus 258,000). Continuing claims for the week ending September 24 fell by 6,000 to 2.058 million. Economic data showed that the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 to 249,000 in the final week of September, which bodes well for a strong payrolls number.

The yield on the benchmark 10-yr note, which slipped back to 1.71% after the Constancio headline first hit, finished higher by four basis points at 1.74%.

Third-quarter earnings season will kick off unofficially on Tuesday with Alcoas results.

Oil futures continued to climb, trading above $50 a barrel for the first time in four months. Gold futures retreated as a key dollar index gained. European stocks fell while Asian markets closed higher.

Todays participation was below the recent average as more than 796 million shares changed hands at the NYSE floor.

Tomorrows economic data will include the 8:30 a.m. ET release of the Employment Situation Report for September. The consensus expects the report to show an increase of 176,000 in nonfarm payrolls. Meanwhile, August Wholesale Inventories (consensus -0.1%) and August Consumer Credit (consensus$18.0 billion) will cross the wires at 10:00 a.m ET and 3:00 p.m. ET, respectively.

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US stocks end higher for first time in three sessions
Oct 06,2016

U.S. stocks closed higher on Wednesday, 05 October 2016 by trading off session highs as they rebounded from losses of the past two sessions, fueled by rising oil prices. A resurgent services sector also helped to lift demand for equities and other assets perceived as risky. Wednesday marked the first finish in positive territory for the main U.S. stock-index benchmarks this week.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 112.58 points, or 0.6%, at 18,281.03, topped by more than 2% gains in both Caterpillar and Goldman Sachs Group. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 26.36 points, or 0.5%, to end at 5,316.02. The S&P 500 index added 9.24 points, or 0.4%, to close at 2,159.73.

Seven sectors settled in the green with financials, energy, and materials leading the advance. The financials and energy sectors led the gainers, while telecom, utilities and real estate, weighed on the index.

Todays economic data included weekly MBA Mortgage Index, ADP Employment Report for September, August Trade Balance, Factory Orders for August, and ISM Services for September.

The MBA Mortgage Index indicated that mortgage applications rose 2.9% in the week ending October 1. This followed a 0.7% decline in the prior week.

The Trade balance report for August showed a widening in the deficit to $40.7 billion (consensus -$39.1 billion) from $39.5 billion in July. Factory orders increased 0.2% in August (consensus +0.1%) following a downwardly revised 1.4% increase (from 1.9%) in July. Total manufacturing shipments were unchanged after declining 0.4% in July. The ISM Non-Manufacturing PMI increased to 57.1 in September from 51.4 in August. September marked the highest reading for the index since October 2015.

Amid a flood of U.S. economic reports, Automatic Data Processing Inc. reported that private-sector employers added 154,000 jobs last month, down from 175,000 in August. ADPs jobs reading is considered an important indicator of labor-market health, though it is rarely predictive of the Labor Departments nonfarm-payrolls report, one of the most widely watched pieces of U.S. economic data. The governments September jobs report is due Friday morning.

Treasuries finished near their worst levels as yields rose through the curve. The yield on the 2-yr note increased one basis point (0.83%) while the yield on the benchmark 10-yr note rose two basis points (1.70%).

Todays participation was above the recent average as more than 962 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor.

U.S.traded oil futures flirted with $50 a barrel for the first time since June, settling up 2.3% at $49.83 a barrel. Gold futures slipped, settling down 0.1% at $1,268.60 an ounce, as did a key dollar index after the ISM data.

Tomorrows economic data will be limited to September Challenger Job Cuts and weekly initial claims (consensus 258k), which will be released at 7:30 ET and 8:30 ET, respectively.

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Australia Market gains; energy firms lead on OPEC deal
Sep 29,2016

Australian share market finished higher on Thursday, 29 September 2016, on the back of overnight gain in the Wall Street and the spike in crude oil prices. Almost all ASX sectors inclined, with energy, materials, industrials, and financial stocks being major gainers. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 58.90 points, or 1.09%, to 5,471.30, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 58 points, or 1.05%, to 5,558.20. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 716 to 396 and 345 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was down 2.26% to 13.612.

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Japan Market rebounds on offshore lead, weaker yen
Sep 29,2016

The Japan share market rebounded on Thursday, 29 September 2016, on the back of positive lead from Wall Street overnight and yen depreciation against greenback. Most of the TSE industry group inclined, resource-related names being major gainers following a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output. The Nikkei average climbed 228.31 points, or 1.39 percent, to end at 16,693.71. The Topix index closed up 12.48 points, or 0.94 percent, at 1,343.25. Rising stocks outnumbered declining ones on the Tokyo Stock Exchange by 1431 to 543 and 87 ended unchanged. The Nikkei Volatility, which measures the implied volatility of Nikkei 225 options, was down 4.17% to 19.77.

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China Stocks edged up ahead of long holiday
Sep 29,2016

Mainland China stock market ended higher in thin trading on Thursday, 29 September 2016, with sentiment lifted by a jump in energy stocks as oil prices surged after OPEC members agreed to curb output in a surprise deal. Trading turnover in Shanghai continued to wane ahead of the week-long National Day holiday that starts on Oct 1. The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen added 0.42%, to 3,244.39 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index inclined 0.36% to 2998.48 points.

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Hong Kong Market holds ground
Sep 29,2016

The Hong Kong stock market closed firmer on Thursday, boosted by the overnight rally of the Dow and higher oil prices. The Hang Seng Index ended up 0.51% or 119.82 points to 23,739.47, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index added 0.77% or 74.49 points to 9,794.33. Turnover decreased slightly to HK$59.1 billion from HK$61.6 billion on Wednesday.

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US stocks rally on OPEC decision
Sep 29,2016

U.S. stocks swung higher on Wednesday, 28 September 2016 after OPEC took an important step toward a cap on crude-oil output.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 110.94 points, or 0.6%, to finish at 18,339.24, aided by sharp gains by energy giants Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 12.84 points, or 0.2%, to end at 5,318.55. The S&P 500 index rose 11.44 points, or 0.5%, to close at 2,171.37, led by a 4.3% surge in the energy sector.

Equity indices began the day on a choppy note as volatility from the oil pit weighed on the broader market. Crude oil was in focus as a negative reading of the Department of Energys weekly inventory report weighed on the energy component. The energy component staged a reversal shortly after midday as reports showed that OPEC agreed to lower its production to 32.5 million barrels per day from approximately 33.2 million barrels. However, the reduction will not go into effect until OPEC meets on November 30.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached an n++understandingn++ to limit crude production and is considering cutting production to between 32.5 million to 33 million barrels a day. The potential production cut, along with a drawdown in U.S. crude supplies for a fourth week, sparked a strong rally in the crude oil market.

November West Texas Intermediate crude settled at $47.05 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other big oil producers held discussions on Wednesday on the sidelines of an energy forum in Algeria on ways to help stabilize the oil market. The market had its doubts that an output deal would be reached at the meeting as OPEC members Iran, Libya and Nigeria have all been trying to boost production, while Saudi Arabia, and non-OPEC Russia have been pumping oil at record or near-record rates.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported early on Wednesday that domestic crude supplies fell unexpectedly for a fourth week in a row. Crude inventories fell by 1.9 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 23. A 3.2 million-barrel climb was expected by market, while the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reported a decline of 752,000 barrels.

Higher interest rates can boost the dollar and dull demand for dollar-denominated commodities. On Wednesday, the ICE U.S. Dollar Index edged up by 0.1%.

Todays economic data at Wall Street included the weekly MBA Mortgage Index and the Durable Goods Orders report for August. The MBA Mortgage Index indicated that mortgage applications declined 0.7% in the week ending September 24. This followed a 7.3% decline in the prior week.Total durable goods orders were unchanged in August (consensus -1.9%), which was better than expected, while orders excluding transportation were down 0.4%, as expected. Total orders growth for July was revised down to 3.6% from 4.4% while growth in orders excluding transportation was also revised down to 1.1% from 1.5%.

Bullion prices ended lower at Comex on Wednesday, 28 September 2016. Gold futures settled lower on Wednesday for a second straight session as traders focused on Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellens testimony at a House hearing and upcoming comments this week from other speakers at the central bank.

December gold fell $6.70, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,323.70 an ounce, holding ground at its lowest levels in just over a week. Silver for December delivery shed 4.4 cents, or 0.2%, to $19.121 an ounce.

The heavily-weighted financial sector finished behind the broader market as participants responded to commentary from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Yellen didnt say much about monetary policy during her testimony before the House Financial Services Committee, but several Fed officials were slated to make remarks this week, which could have implications for currency and stock market trading n++ and influence demand for precious metals. On Tuesday, San Francisco Fed President John Williams told Reuters that he would support an increase-rate increase and that the central bank can raise rates without threatening the U.S. economy.

Treasuries ended on a lower note with yields rising through the curve. The yield on the 10-yr note finished higher by one basis point at 1.57%.

Todays participation was above the recent average as more than 903 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor.

Tomorrows economic data will include the third estimate of second quarter GDP (consensus 1.3%), the third estimate for the second quarter GDP deflator (consensus 2.3%), weekly initial claims (consensus 259k), and International Trade in Goods for August, which will each cross the wires at 8:30 ET. Separately, Pending Home Sales for August (consensus 1.0%) will be released at 10:00 ET.

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Asia Pacific Market: Stocks ended mixed
Sep 28,2016

Asia Pacific share market ended mixed on Wednesday, 28 September 2016, as drop in crude oil prices offset positivity from gain in Wall Street overnight and stronger performance from Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton against Republican hopeful Donald Trump at the first U.S. presidential debate.

Equities in Asia had gained ground on a perceived win by Democrat Hillary Clinton at the first presidential debate over Republican Donald Trump, who is seen as creating greater uncertainty for the US and global economies.

U.S. stocks rebounded overnight after a Conference Board survey showed consumer confidence is at a nine-year high, a sign Americans will keep spending in the months to come. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 133.47 points, or 0.7%, to 18,228.30. The Standard & Poors 500 index picked up 13.83 points, or 0.6%, to 2,159.93. The Nasdaq composite gained 48.22 points, or 0.9%, to 5,305.71.

Oil prices slipped during U.S. hours on Tuesday, after major oil producers Saudi Arabia and Iran left little hope that producers would reach a deal to tackle the global supply glut during an informal meeting on the sidelines of an energy conference in Algeria. U.S. crude futures were modestly up 0.16% at $44.74 on Wednesday, after dropping 2.7% in the U.S. session on Tuesday. Global benchmark Brent was up 0.28% at $46.10, after falling 2.9% overnight.

The near-term market focus was on comments European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen. Draghi will face tough questions from German lawmakers later on Wednesday about the central banks monetary policy, while Yellen will deliver semi-annual testimony before the US House Financial Services Committee.

Among Asian markets

Australia Stocks hold gains

Australian share market finished almost flat after trimming early gains, as strength in utilities and consumer staples issues were offset losses in energy and resources counters. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 6.50 points, or 0.12%, to 5,412.40, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 6.50 points, or 0.12%, to 5,500.20.

Utilities did most of the heavy lifting in the benchmark bourse, buoyed by AGL (up 5.8%) which surprised investors with a $600 million buyback and flagged a rise in underlying profit.

Three of the big four banks traded higher, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia closing up 0.3% higher, ANZ up 0.7% higher and National Australia managing to close up 0.1%. Westpac, however, saw a slight selloff and closed down 0.1%.

A sliding oil price weighed on energy stocks which dragged the bourse down. Australias largest oil producer Woodside Petroleum closed down 0.7%, Santos was down 3.1% and Origin Energy 3.7%. Lower iron ore and oil prices weighed on the big miners, with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto finishing down 0.5% and 0.02% respectively. Iron ore producer Fortescue managed to close 0.8% higher.

Japan Market falls on ex-dividend impact, stronger yen

The Japan share market declined the most in two-and-a-half weeks, as more than half the companies on the benchmark traded without the right to the next dividend, a biannual event in Japan. Total 30 out of 33 TSE industry group declined, with Securities & Commodities Futures, mining, Banks, Financial Business, Marine Transportation, and Oil & Coal Products issues being major losers. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended lower 218.53 points, or 1.31%, at 16,465.40. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 18.45 points, or 1.37%, lower at 1,330.77.

Shares of financial and major export-oriented issues suffered heavy losses, due to concern over consecutive drops of 10-year Japanese government bond yields and the yens strengthening trend. Mega-bank groups Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho posted hefty losses, as well as brokerage firm Nomura and insurers Dai-ichi Life and Tokio Marine. Automakers Toyota and Nissan and electronics maker Sony were downbeat due to the yens strength.

By contrast, furniture retailer Nitori Holdings surged 2.17%, rising for the fifth straight session, after its midterm group operating profit turned out better than market expectations, brokers said. Also on the plus side were trading house Mitsubishi, industrial robot maker Fanuc and Japan Tobacco.

China Stocks soft ahead of long holiday

Mainland China stock market ended softer in thin trading, as investors risk appetite continued to wane ahead of the week-long National Day holiday that starts on Oct 1. Reflecting lower risk apatite, trading turnover in Shanghai has shrunk, while outstanding margin financing hit its lowest in 1-1/2 months. The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen erased 0.3%, to 3,230.89 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.34% to 2987.86 points.

Most sectors lost ground but property shares were strong, as investors bet developers will benefit from the recent surge in home prices in major cities despite fresh curbs by local governments. Chinas eastern city Hangzhou will scrap a stimulus housing policy and raise the downpayment ratio for second-home purchases, state media reported on Tuesday, in the countrys latest move to deflate fast-rising home prices.

Industrial profits rise most in 3 yrs: PROFITS in Chinas industrial sector in August rose at the fastest pace in three years, supporting a growing view that the worlds second-biggest economy is stabilizing. Profits of industrial firms jumped 19.5% from a year earlier to 534.8 billion yuan (US$80 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said yesterday, the most since August 2013. The statistics bureau said that steel, oil refining and auto industries were the driving forces behind the jump in profits. The data covers firms with annual revenues of more than 20 million yuan.

Hong Kong Market recovers ground

The Hong Kong stock market recovered earlier lost ground to close slightly higher, with gambling companies and a supplier to Apple Inc. leading the advance. The Hang Seng Index ended up 0.2% or 47.75 points to 23,619.65 after falling as much as 0.9%, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index dropped 0.27% or 26.72 points to 9,719.84. Turnover decreased to HK$61.6 billion from HK$64.7 billion on Tuesday.

The Hang Seng Index headed for a 2.8% advance this month, buoyed by mainland inflows via an exchange link with Shanghai and as traders scaled back bets for higher U.S. borrowing costs. A net 58.7 billion yuan ($8.8 billion) has flowed into Hong Kong equities through the connect this month, compared with 1.75 billion yuan in the other direction. Thats driven a valuation gap between dual-listed shares in Hong Kong and Chinese exchanges to near the narrowest since 2014.

Macau gaming regulator plans to tighten the entry threshold for junket operators. The industry generally welcomes the move. Galaxy Entertainment (00027) added 1.4% to HK$29.3. It was the top blue-chip winner. Sands China (01928) also gained 0.8% to HK$33.55. Macau Legend (01680) soared 17.3% to HK$1.63.

Mainland developers were volatile after Hangzhou government suspended the purchase of households today. COLI (00688) and CR Land (01109) edged up 0.4% and 0.2% to HK$27.1 and HK422.85. Both stocks had earlier plunged 3% and 4% respectively.

Indian shares snap three-day losses on value buying

Indian shares rose for the first time in four sessions, as bargain buying in banking and auto stocks helped stave off losses stemming from weak risk appetite. The benchmark BSE Sensex rose 0.2% to 28,292.81 points, while the broader NSE Nifty50 index advanced 0.5% to 8,745.15 points. Private bank stocks saw mixed trend. PSU bank stocks rose. Auto stocks gained. Metal & mining stocks gained as copper prices rose in global commodity markets. Realty stocks rose.

Jindal Stainless rose 8.89% after the company said it received approval from Orissa Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) vide its letter dated 24 September 2016 conveying its no objection for effecting the transfer or right to use of the land on which the hot strip mill and the coke plant of the company are located, to Jindal United Steel (JUSL) and Jindal Coke (JCL), respectively.

Bharti Airtel rose 2.42% after the company announced the launch of its new International Roaming (IR) packs that redefine the value proposition for customers traveling abroad. With the new IR packs, customers will have the convenience of carrying their India mobile number wherever they go and stay connected 24x7 without having to worry about high call and data charges.

Motherson Sumi Systems rose 0.76% after the Reserve Bank of India allowed foreign investors to hike their stake in the company to upto 30% from 24% earlier

Elsewhere in the Asia Pacific region: New Zealands NZX50 rose 0.3% to 7314.92. South Koreas KOSPI index shed 0.5% to 2053. Singapores Straits Times index shed 0.1% to 2858.01. Indonesias Jakarta Composite index rose 0.1% to 5425.34. Malaysias KLCI was flat at 1665. Taiwans market closed for holiday.

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Hong Kong Market recovers ground
Sep 28,2016

The Hong Kong stock market recovered earlier lost ground to close slightly higher on Wednesday, 28 September 2016, with gambling companies and a supplier to Apple Inc. leading the advance. The Hang Seng Index ended up 0.2% or 47.75 points to 23,619.65 after falling as much as 0.9%, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises index dropped 0.27% or 26.72 points to 9,719.84. Turnover decreased to HK$61.6 billion from HK$64.7 billion on Tuesday.

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China Stocks soft ahead of long holiday
Sep 28,2016

Mainland China stock market ended softer in thin trading on Wednesday, 28 September 2016, as investors risk appetite continued to wane ahead of the week-long National Day holiday that starts on Oct 1. Reflecting lower risk apatite, trading turnover in Shanghai has shrunk, while outstanding margin financing hit its lowest in 1-1/2 months. The CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen erased 0.3%, to 3,230.89 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index dropped 0.34% to 2987.86 points.

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Japan Market falls on ex-dividend impact, stronger yen
Sep 28,2016

The Japan share market declined the most in two-and-a-half weeks on Wednesday, 28 September 2016, as more than half the companies on the benchmark traded without the right to the next dividend, a biannual event in Japan. Total 30 out of 33 TSE industry group declined, with Securities & Commodities Futures, mining, Banks, Financial Business, Marine Transportation, and Oil & Coal Products issues being major losers. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average ended lower 218.53 points, or 1.31%, at 16,465.40. The broader Topix index of all First Section issues on the Tokyo Stock Exchange finished 18.45 points, or 1.37%, lower at 1,330.77.

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Australia Stocks hold gains
Sep 28,2016

Australian share market finished almost flat after trimming early gains on Wednesday, 28 September 2016, as strength in utilities and consumer staples issues were offset losses in energy and resources counters. At close of trade, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 6.50 points, or 0.12%, to 5,412.40, while the broader All Ordinaries index was up 6.50 points, or 0.12%, to 5,500.20. Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Australia Stock Exchange by 533 to 512 and 355 ended unchanged. The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 3.55% to 13.899.

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U.S. stocks closed near session lows on Friday
Sep 26,2016

U.S. stocks closed near session lows on Friday, 23 September 2016 with investor sentiment hit by a renewed slide in crude-oil prices. Reports that major oil producers are not likely to reach an agreement to freeze production at a meeting this weekend resulted in the largest one-day loss for oil futures since mid-July. The main indexes posted a second straight weekly gain, however, thanks to a Fed-induced rally earlier this week. Earlier, the catalyst for the downturn was a weaker than expected reading of manufacturing activity, which pointed to a slowdown in growth this month.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 131.01 points, or 0.7%, to 18,261.45 with all but three of the 30 blue-chip components finishing in negative territory. The S&P 500 fell 12.49 points, or 0.6%, to 2,164.69, with a 1.3% tumble in the energy sector. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 33.78 points, or 0.6%, to 5,305.75, backing off two straight days of record closes.\

Markets rallied earlier in the week as traders cheered the Federal Reserves latest policy announcement, sending the Nasdaq Composite to consecutive record closes. The Fed on Wednesday stood pat on interest rates, but also indicated confidence in the U.S. economy and signaled a rate rise could come by years end. Equity indices stumbled at the start of the session as investors looked to lock in some profits in the wake of the recent Fed-induced rally.

Reports on Friday that Saudi Arabia views a planned confab of members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other top oil-producers set for next week in Algeria, as merely a consultation and doesnt expect a concrete pact to be reached, deflated crude futures prices, which had benefited from the prospects of an agreement.

Apple shares, off 1.6%, were also contributing to negative sentiment following reports that Japanese antitrust regulators were considering taking action against the Cupertino, Calif.-based company. The blue-chip index posted a 0.8% gain over the week.

Economic data for the week showed that a preliminary reading of U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index fell to 51.4 in September compared with 52 in August and its lowest reading since June. A reading above 50 indicates an expansion in activity.

Among stocks under focus, shares in Yahoo fell 3.1% after the ailing internet pioneer disclosed a massive security breach affecting at least 500 million users. Facebook dropped 1.6% following a report that big ad buyers are upset that the tech giant vastly overestimated average viewing time for video ads on its platform. Bucking the general trend, shares of Twitter soared amid reports that acquisition talks for the microblogging company had intensified.

The broader market extended its loss near midday as the commodity complex came under pressure. Commodities were in focus as participants pored over proposed rule changes designed to limit the physical commodity activities of financial holding companies. Specifically, the Federal Reserve proposed strengthening existing capital requirements and quantitative limits on such companies.

Bullion prices settled with a loss on Friday, 24 September 2016, but booked the strongest weekly advance in about two months as the precious metal scored a boost from central-bank moves, including the Federal Reserves decision to hold off on hiking interest rates in September.

December gold slipped $3, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,341.70 an ounce, cutting its weekly advance down to 2.4%. That was still the biggest weekly gain since the week ended 29 July 2016. Silver for December delivery lost 28.9 cents, or 1.4%, to $19.81 an ounce, with a weekly gain of 5%.

November West Texas Intermediate crude dropped $1.84, or about 4%, to settle at $44.48 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the sharpest one-day dollar and percentage loss since mid July. WTI oil had traded higher for four days in a row and managed to book a weekly gain of 2%. Global benchmark Brent crude for November delivery lost $1.76, or 3.7%, to $45.89 a barrel, with the contract holding on to a weekly gain of about 0.3%.

Treasuries ended on a mostly higher note with the short end of the curve outperforming. The yield on the 2-yr note finished lower by two basis points (0.76%) while the yield on the 10-yr note finished flat (1.62%).

Todays participation was below the recent average as fewer than 804 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor.

Mondays economic data will be limited to the New Home Sales Report for August (consensus 585k), which will be released at 10:00 ET.

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Nasdaq closes at record high after US stocks rally
Sep 22,2016

U.S. stocks rallied on Wednesday, 21 September 2016 with the Nasdaq Composite closing at a record, after the Federal Reserve opted to keep interest rates unchanged as it sought further evidence of economic strength. The broader U.S. equity market traded tentatively higher Wednesday after the FOMC decision but caught fire later in the day after Yellens 2 p.m. Eastern news conference was digested.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 163.74 points, or 0.9%, to end at 18,293.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 53.83 points, or 1%, to finish at a record close of 5,295.18. The S&P 500 index added 23.36 points, or 1.1%, to close at 2,163.12, aided by a 2.1% jump in the S&P 500s energy sector.

Boeing, Caterpillar and Chevron led the way higher.

Participants mulled over the latest policy statement from the FOMC and commentary from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. The FOMC opted to leave the target range for the fed funds rate unchanged at 0.25% to 0.50%. However, three committee members dissented, indicating that they supported an interest rate hike at the September meeting. Additionally, the committee lowered rate hike expectations going forward, estimating one rate hike in 2016, two to three in 2017, and three in 2018.

The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee, in a 7-to-3 vote, opted to keep rates steady in what Chairwoman Janet Yellen described as a n++new normaln++ as central banks elsewhere around the globe embark upon quantitative-easing measures. Yellen also said she is n++pleased withn++ the health of the economy. The decision to keep rates unchanged was widely expected.

Earlier Wednesday, Japans central bank took an unexpected step, launching a 10-year interest rate target to step up its fight against deflation. Against the yen, the dollar dropped about 1.2%. The Bank of Japan also said it would continue quantitative easing until inflation n++exceedsn++ 2%, effectively strengthening its commitment to continue aggressive easing.

Among stocks under focus, FedEx Corp. jumped 6.9% after the package-delivery giants adjusted earnings and revenue topped forecasts. That is even as the company cut its outlook to help integrate its TNT Express NV acquisition. Separately, Microsoft Corp.late Tuesday said it would increase its quarterly dividend by 8% over the previous quarter, and it approved a share buyback program of up to $40 billion.

Bullion prices ended substantially higher at Comex on 21 September 2016. Gold futures settled higher on Wednesday, scoring a third straight advance, then extended its gain after the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged, but signaled that a rate increase was likely before the years end. Prices had spent most of the trading session in the green amid volatile currency moves, including a weaker dollar, even in the wake of the Bank of Japans aggressive steps to fight deflation announced earlier Wednesday.

Ahead of the Fed announcement, December gold rose $13.20, or 1%, to settle at $1,331.40 an ounce. December silver climbed 49.1 cents, or 2.6%, to settle at $19.768 an ounce.

Crude oil futures ended higher on Wednesday, 21 September 2016 after U.S. government data revealed a drop in crude inventories, marking the third such unexpected weekly decline in a row. Expectations swaying back toward the likelihood of an output deal among major oil producers next week also delivered a shot in the arm for the Fed. Futures received an added boost following a widely expected decision by the Federal Reserve decided to keep interest rates steady.

November West Texas Intermediate crude which had been up about 2.8% just before the Fed announcement, settled up $1.29, or 2.9%, at $45.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for November delivery however, was last up 10 cents at $46.93 a barrel in electronic trading on Londons ICE Futures exchange.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that domestic crude supplies fell by 6.2 million barrels in the week ended 16 September 2016. A 2.8 million-barrel climb was expected. The EIA has now reported unexpected supply declines for three weeks in a row. Gasoline supplies fell by 3.2 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles rose by 2.2 million barrels. Total domestic crude production, meanwhile, edged up by 19,000 barrels a day to 8.512 million barrels a day.

The economic report of the day at Wall Street showed that the MBA Mortgage Index indicated that mortgage applications declined 7.3% in the week ending September 17. This followed a 4.2% gain in the prior week.

Treasuries ended on a mixed note with the long end of the curve outperforming. The yield on the 2-yr note finished flat (0.77%) while the yield on the 10-yr note declined four basis points (1.65%).

Todays participation was roughly in-line with the recent average as more than 873 million shares changed hands on the NYSE floor.

Tomorrows economic data will include weekly initial claims (consensus 262k) and the FHFA Housing Price Index for July, which will cross the wires at 8:30 ET and 9:00 ET, respectively. Separately, Existing Home Sales for August (consensus 5.50 million) will be released at 10:00 ET.

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