Asia shares take a breather, dollar sinks

Sydney : Asian share markets took a time out on Wednesday as investors were left breathless at the breakneck pace of recent gains while a fresh burst of speculative selling took the U.S. dollar to three-year lows.

The upbeat data only reinforced speculation the European Central Bank might take a step toward an eventual tightening at its policy meeting on Thursday.

That helped lift to euro to $1.2315 EUR= and back toward the three-year top of $1.2322 touched last week. The dollar was already at a fresh three-year trough against a basket of major currencies at 90.003 .DXY.

It also ran into selling against the yen even though the Bank of Japan tried hard on Tuesday to quash talk it might curb its massive asset buying campaign anytime soon.

The dollar was last down 0.35 percent at 109.90 JPY=, having breached support at 110.00 for the first time since September.

The British pound GBP= also powered to $1.4040, its highest since the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, aided by optimism around Britain’s chances of securing a favourable Brexit deal. [GBP/]

The dollar’s decline has been a boon to commodities priced in the currency, with gold edging up to $1,341.26 an ounce XAU=.

Oil prices were consolidating after jumping more than 1 percent on Tuesday, with benchmark Brent crude hitting $70 a barrel for the first time in a week.

Brent futures LCOc1 were off 19 cents at $69.77, still not far off the three-year high of $70.37 reached on Jan. 15, while U.S. crude CLc1 eased 6 cents to $64.41 a barrel.

Source : Reuters

 

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