Moneycontrol
May 11, 2017 07:23 AM IST | Source: CNBC

Asian markets open cautiously higher following mixed close stateside

The Nikkei 225 edged up 0.2 percent while South Korea's benchmark Kospi index added 0.55 percent on Thursday. The ASX 200 was slightly higher, gaining 0.04 percent in early trade.

Asian indexes were cautiously higher in early Thursday trade, following a mixed close stateside as investors noted Snap's USD 2.2 billion loss, and monitored potential fallout on President Donald Trump's policies after FBI Director James Comey was fired.

Comey was dismissed by US President Donald Trump yesterday reportedly to increase public trust. The search for Comey's replacement is underway.

The Nikkei 225 edged up 0.2 percent while South Korea's benchmark Kospi index added 0.55 percent on Thursday. The ASX 200 was slightly higher, gaining 0.04 percent in early trade.

Markets in Indonesia are closed for a public holiday.

In the New Zealand, the central bank announced Thursday morning it stood pat on interest rates. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand's comments on policy were regarded as dovish by the market.

The Kiwi traded lower against the dollar at USD 0.683, compared to the USD 0.69 handle seen just ahead of the news.

Stateside, shares of the social media company Snap tumbled almost 24 percent after hours on news that the company had missed earnings and growth projections.

Over in Asia, shares of Toyota and SoftBank are expected to move. Japanese automaker Toyota forecast yesterday that profits for this year would fall by 20 percent due to increased marketing costs. Toyota shares were down 0.46 percent in early trade.

Meanwhile, telecommunications giant SoftBank said annual profits increased by 13 percent on year but that it had incurred USD 2.2 billion in derivative losses. Shares of the company jumped 1.11 percent.

The dollar gained against a basket of rivals, with the dollar index strengthening for the fourth straight session to trade at 99.657. The dollar/yen edged higher, with the greenback fetching 114.33, compared to levels around 112 seen last week.

The Australian dollar had some respite after falling for three straight sessions against the dollar, strengthening slightly to trade at USD 0.7358.

Oil prices bounced more than 3 percent in the previous session after US inventories recorded their largest one-week drop this year. US West Texas International crude was up by 0.19 percent to trade at USD 47.41 a barrel while Brent crude gained 0.18 percent to trade at USD 50.31.

In economic news, the Bank of England will announce its interest rate decision at 7:00 pm HK/SIN. The European Central Bank will also be releasing its economic bulletin during European hours.

US equities closed mixed after shrugging off the dismissal of Comey. The Dow Jones industrial average declined 0.16 percent or 32.67 points to trade at 20,943.11. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched record closes.
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