The Nikkei Index advanced to a one-week high on Thursday, gaining on the 1% rise made in the previous session, as progress in the U.S. fiscal standoff gave the market confidence, while bellwether exporters were in demand after the Japanese Yen fell against the Dollar.
Chinese markets traded lower on Thursday with shares in Hong Kong trading at their lowest level in almost a month, as a sell-off in power producers triggered by the slashing of on-grid prices of thermal electricity led investors to anticipate lower profit margins.
According to Reuters, European markets are seen opening higher on Thursday, snapping a three-day losing streak as some progress seems to have been made to end the U.S. fiscal deadlock, which could avert a possible debt non-payment next week.
Reuters reports that Wall Street rebounded on Wednesday with defensive shares such as telecoms advancing on the day, while early signs of a possible break to the political wrangling in Congress around ending the government shutdown, as well as the possibility of a short-term increase in the debt limit also boosted market sentiment.
Business Day reports that the JSE closed in the red for the fourth consecutive day on Wednesday‚with mining and industrial shares still weighing heavily on the local bourse, while the benchmark JSE All Share Index broke a critical technical support level and could lead to further downside.
The Rand is trading slightly lower at R9.9740 against the Dollar, while it is also firmer at R13.4727 against the Euro, and at R15.8737 to the Pound.
Gold has slipped to trade around $1 300 an ounce level in Singapore on Thursday, as the Dollar recovered after President Barack Obama began meetings with lawmakers to resolve the U.S. budget crisis. Gold was last trading at $1 306.13 with the platinum price quoted at $1 381.75, while the palladium price was at $702.90.
Brent crude oil was last trading slightly higher at $109.70 a barrel.