In a low volume lackluster trading session, Asian stocks rose on the release of the Bank of Japan minutes showing policy makers are considering steps to boost the economy, and before U.S. retail sales data is released and is expected to signal that demand is recovering in the US economy.
Stocks throughout Asia gained after minutes of the Bank of Japan’s last meeting signaled policy members are considering ways to expand stimulus and that it shouldn’t rule out any options in advance. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average increased 0.2% with volume on the measure 20 percent below the 30-day average as Japan yesterday entered a week long O-bon period, a time where many Japanese companies are closed for business.
Also rising was South Korea’s Kospi Index, rising 0.8%, Australia’s S&P/AS 200 Index which gained 0.29% and Hong Kongs Hang Seng index which rose 0.25%.
The subdued trading could be seen in most markets with very little movement in both the currency and commodity markets. The US dollar index which tracks the greenback against a basket of 6 weighted currencies was down 0.03%, valued at 82.45. The USD was down against most major currencies with the EUR/USD up 0.11%, the GBP/USF up 0.03% but the USD/JPY was up 0.13%, primarily on the BoJ minutes release. Gold and Silver both gained on the weakened US Dollar with Gold increasing 0.14%, trading at 1612.85 and Silver up 0.13%, trading at 27.803.
Attention swung back to Greece yesterday as Greece revealed its economy contracted by 6.2% in the second quarter of the year compared with the same period a year earlier. This was a slight improvement on the 6.5% annual pace of contraction recorded in the first quarter and beat other forecasters, including Greece’s Prime Minister, Antonis Samaras, who expected the economy to shrink by 7%.
After a quiet day yesterday, there is a veritable bounty of economic data being released today which should keep the binary options trader busy. GDP figures are out in France and Germany in the morning, along with Spanish, French and British CPI data. Then after German economic sentiment is released – a key indicator of the economic outlook, attention turns to the US where retail sales figures are released. Sales at U.S. retailers most likely increased July for the first time in 4 months, data from the Commerce Department may show today which would mean a rising USD.