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Cautious moves for currencies, Asian shares deepen losses.

News Date: 5/1/2016 01:07:19

Asian shares doubled down on their heavy losses that were inflicted yesterday, after Chinese shares plunged by 7.0%, rekindling fears of instability in the world second largest economy. China's CSI300 for biggest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen lost a further 1.0%; while Japan's Nikkei index touched a fresh ten-week low; falling by 0.51%, to deepen Monday's 3.1% losses. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index slumped to a two-week low, down 1.63% for the day. India's Nifty slipped 0.25%, while South Korea's KOSPI bucked the trend, gaining half a percent.


Currencies engaged in cautious trading after wild moves yesterday, with the yen trading flat against the dollar at 119.41, after touching an 11-week high yesterday at 118.72. Euro fetched 129.34 yen, slightly higher from the eight-month low reached on Monday at 128.69. Yen is expected to expand its lead over its peers if instability reigned anew, as investors view safety in the Japanese currency.


Dollar was largely flat as well, with its index barely inching down to 98.92, after touching a more than two-week high yesterday at 99.30. Dollar traded at 1.4720 against sterling, while stuck at 1.0833 against the euro.


Oil prices ended a volatile session on Monday with losses. U.S. West Texas Intermediary (WTI) crude futures rose 12 cents for the day, or 0.31% to $36.88 a barrel. Brent crude futures edged  down 2 cents, or 0.07% to $37.35 a barrel. Oil is expected to remain under pressure for the foreseeable future as the supply glut continues to move the market.


Gold futures edged up $2.50, or 0.23% to $1,078 an ounce. Silver futures followed suit, rising 11 cents, or 0.82% to $13.96 an ounce. Copper tried to recover some of its losses, bouncing up a meager 0.20% to trade at $2.086 a pound.


Investors await a basket of data today, most notably, Britain's Construction PMI for December, forecast at 56.0, higher than November's 55.3, and an indication of continuing strong growth in the sector, which would be good for the beleaguered sterling.


From the Eurozone, Flash CPI for December is forecast to have risen to 0.4% y/y, compared with November's 0.2%, which would be good news for the ECB, and the euro.   


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