The Nikkei Index moved to a new three-week high on Wednesday, supported by domestic demand-sensitive sectors, such as real estate and financial shares.
The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong shares slipped lower on Wednesday, with the shares of China Construction Bank (CCB) falling by 2%, while shares of snack maker Want Want China were affected by large block sales of their shares.
According to Reuters, European markets are expected to edge higher at the open on Wednesday as investors remain cautious after U.S. lawmakers’ gave their support for military action against Syria.
Reuters reports that US markets closed firmer yesterday but ended far off the day’s highs after U.S. President Barack Obama sought authorisation for military strikes against Syria and received support from the Republicans, while stronger-than-expected U.S. manufacturing and construction spending data provided support to the market.
Speculation that the Federal Reserve may cut back on, or taper, its monthly bond purchases as soon as September has made investors nervous.
Business Day reports that the JSE closed firmer on Tuesday with resources shares gaining on firmer commodity prices, while gold mining shares also closed higher despite possible strike action, as a stronger gold price and a softer Rand stimulated demand..
The Rand has edged slightly firmer to trade at R10.2675 against the Dollar, while it is weaker at R13.5313 against the Euro, and at R15.9613 to the Pound.
The price of gold held onto its recent gains due to safe-haven buying on the back of congressional support for a limited military strike against Syria. Gold was last trading at $1 3408.40, with the platinum price quoted at $1530.00, while the palladium price was at $717.00.
Brent crude oil was last trading higher at $115.60 a barrel.