Upbeat U.S. Data Lifts Dollar vs.Yen

After  the close on Wednesday, Australia stocks were higher, as an increase in the Gold, Metal & Mining and Materials sectors led shares higher.

At the close in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 increase 1.01% to hit a new 52-week peak.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/ ASX 200 were Resolute Mining Ltd (AX:RSG), which increased 11.06% or 0.115 points to trade at 1.155 at the close. In the meantime,Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd (AX:SAR) added 9.70% or 0.080 points to end at 0.905 and Asaleo Care (AX:AHY) increased 7.25% or 0.100 points to 1.480 in late trade.

The poorest performers of the session were Bega Cheese Ltd (AX:BGA), which declines 2.60% or 0.110 points to trade at 4.120 at the close. Caltex Australia Ltd (AX:CTX) dropped 2.03% or 0.620 points to end at 29.980 and Myer Holdings Ltd (AX:MYR) was down 1.44% or 0.020 points to 1.370.

Rising stocks outnumbered decreasing ones on the Australian Stock Exchange by 666 to 319 and 272 ended unmoved.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which gauges  the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, increased  15.42% to 12.169.

Delivery of gold for February increased 0.36% or 4.15 to $1142.95 a troy ounce. Somewhere else in commodities trading, delivery of crude oil in February dropped 0.19% or 0.10 to hit $53.80 a barrel, while the March Brent oil deal drops 0.21% or 0.12 to trade at $56.71 a barrel.

AUD/USD  increased 0.26% to 0.7205, while AUD/JPY  increased 0.41% to 84.72.

The US Dollar Index declined 0.09% at 102.91.

On Additional  News

On Wednesday, Asia stocks followed Wall Street higher, although the greenback firmed compared to the yen following the release of upbeat U.S. economic data overnight.

Crude oil prices held large increased on expectations of supply tightening once oil-producing nations implement a planned output reduction.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan increased 0.5%.

Australian stocks (AXJO) rode a rise in commodities to increase 1 percent. Indonesian shares (JKSE) added 1.9%, while Shanghai (SSEC) shed 0.3%. Japan’s Nikkei (N225) increased 0.1 percent.

U.S. stocks had gained slightly on Tuesday, supported by upbeat consumer and housing data, with gains in technology shares lifting the Nasdaq Composite to a record close.

The greenback increased 0.1% higher at 117.600 yen. It was boosted after previous day’s data presented U.S. consumer confidence hitting its highest level in over  15 years in December, in addition to robust housing numbers.

“Until data starts to turn negative or the headlines suggest that (U.S. president-elect) Trump’s stimulus programme could fall short of expectations, the dips in the dollar will be shallow with the currency aiming for new highs,” wrote Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy for BK Asset Management.

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