The Nikkei average climbed higher for an eighth day on Wednesday on the back of a weaker Yen, but the advance was limited with many investors preferring to wait on the side lines ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's annual meeting starting tomorrow.
The market on mainland China traded slightly lower on Tuesday due to weakness in the financial and insurance sectors, while the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong also traded flat to lower with investor preferring to be cautious ahead of earnings.
According to Reuters, European markets closed in positive territory on Tuesday, led by Danish shipping giant, Moller-Maersk, whose share price surged 5% higher after posting better-than-expected results, raised its full-year profit forecast and divulged a $1-billion share buyback plan.
Reuters reports that U.S. markets closed firmer for the second straight trading day on Tuesday on the back of strong housing data, as well as solid earnings from Dow component Home Depot helped to push the S&P 500 Index within 10 points of its all-time intraday high, while the NASDAQ Composite extended its gains to yet another 14-year high.
Business Day reports that the JSE All Share Index closed 0.40% lower on Tuesday after opening positive as disappointing annual results from global mining group BHP Billiton and retailer Shoprite weighed on investor sentiment, while global equity markets ended firmer on continued positive economic data, as well as easing of geopolitical tensions.
The Rand was last trading weaker at R10.6105 against the US Dollar, with the Euro quoted softer at R14.1712 and the British Pound at R17.7132.
The gold price reversed a two-day decline in Singapore trade on Tuesday as geopolitical tensions and fund inflows boosted the appeal of the precious metal as a safe-haven asset, but the advance was limited by strength in equities and the US Dollar. Gold was last trading at $1,300.37, with the platinum price quoted at $1,446.40, while the palladium price was last at the $890.60 level.
Brent was last trading slightly lower at $101.85 a barrel.