The Nikkei Index in Tokyo traded lower on low volumes on Thursday with investors deciding to move to the side lines ahead of another batch of key economic data on Friday.
The Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong traded higher on Thursday on the back of another steady performance on Wall Street overnight but gains were limited by the performance on mainland China which fell after batch of initial public offerings (IPOs) began diverting money from existing stocks.
According to Reuters, European markets ended mix on Wednesday, with investors taking a break after the recent brisk rally, while investor appetite for risk was also dented after market research group GfK reported that German consumer morale was declining for the first time in more than 1½-years.
Reuters reports that U.S. markets closed almost flat on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 Index edging slightly higher to another record closing high in a listless trading session, but retail stocks such as Tiffany & Co and apparel retailer Express Inc both surged higher after reporting quarterly revenue that beat market expectations, while electronics retailer Best Buy Co Inc recovered some of the previous day’s steep losses.
The Business Day website reports that the JSE All Share Index ended 0.23% lower on Wednesday with gold and platinum mining shares the gainers on the day but banking and resources led the decliners, with no real drivers to provide reasons for investors to buy other than a record-breaking run on Wall Street, while a stronger Rand also limited shares such as Sasol‚British American Tobacco‚SABMiller and Naspers.
The Rand was last trading slightly firmer at R10.6164 against the US Dollar, with the Euro also quoted stronger at R14.0198 and the British Pound quoted at R17.5877.
The gold price has climbed for the third straight session in Singapore on Thursday on the back of a weaker US Dollar, as well as increased tensions between Ukraine and Russia. Gold was last trading at $1,286.10, with the platinum price quoted at $1,417.40, while the palladium price was last trading at the $890.00 level.
Brent was last trading slightly lower at $102.60 a barrel.