Asian stocks were mixed on Friday, as focus turned to the release of U.S. jobs data for clues on when the Fed could cut back its stimulus program.» Read More
*Euro hits two-week low vs dollar, may fall beneath $1.30. NEW YORK, June 20- The U.S. dollar climbed to two-week highs against major currencies on Thursday and looked likely to extend gains after the Federal Reserve signaled it would begin withdrawing its stimulus programs this year as the U.S. economy improves.
NEW YORK, June 20- The U.S. dollar rallied to two-week highs against major currencies on Thursday and looked set to extend gains after the Federal Reserve signaled it would begin withdrawing its stimulus programs this year as the U.S. economy improves.
*Euro hits two-week low vs dollar, may fall beneath $1.30. NEW YORK, June 20- The U.S. dollar rallied to two-week highs against major currencies on Thursday and looked set to extend gains after the Federal Reserve signaled it would begin withdrawing its stimulus programs this year as the U.S. economy improves.
"To the extent that QE represented a drag on the currency, I think that the prospect of less QE higher interest rates is something that should help the dollar, particularly in an environment where some other central banks are still moving in the other direction," said Robert Lynch, senior currency strategist at HSBC in New York.
Analysts also said the dollar's resurgence could put an end to the recent resilience of the euro, potentially pushing it below $1.30 as markets become wary about the prospect of lower European Central Bank interest rates. The U.S. growth story is still the most convincing in G4, "said Valentin Marinov, currency strategist at Citi.
The Reserve Bank of Australia left its interest rate steady at a record low on Tuesday and analysts it could ease monetary policy soon.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei index extended its correction to hit a new six-week low on Monday as worries of a slowdown in China returned to the spotlight and a sharp sell-off on Wall Street late last week curbed risk appetite.
Asian stocks rose on Wednesday but ended off session highs as a weak Australian dollar, volatile Japanese markets and renewed fears of the U.S. Federal Reserve tapering its bond-buying program scaled back momentum.
Japan's benchmark stock index closed higher on Tuesday after three days of extreme volatility. The Nikkei managed to stabilize after a shaky morning session, which saw the index zigzag between gains and losses after shedding 1 percent at the open.
Japan's stock market finished Thursday's session 7 percent lower, in a hugely volatile session which saw the Nikkei gain 2 percent in early trade only to dive to a one-week low late in the session.
A measure of Australian consumer confidence fell sharply in May as households reacted negatively to the government's budget announcement, even after a cut in interest rates to a record low.
Stuart Scoular, Banking & Capital Markets Leader at PwC says despite the big four Australian banks reporting a record combined profit for H1 2013, market conditions remain challenging.
National Australia Bank added to bumper bank earnings on Thursday with a 3.1 percent rise in first-half cash profit, propelling combined earnings at Australia's "Big Four" to a record high.
Australian stocks approached their highest levels in nearly five years on Wednesday after China's trade balance swung to a surplus in April while Japan's benchmark Nikkei remained the region's out performer, extending gains to hit a fresh near five-year high.
Japan and Australia dominated Asian trade on Tuesday as a weak yen sent Tokyo stocks to their highest level in almost five years while Australian shares closed lower after briefly erasing declines following the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) surprise rate cut.
Sentiment in Asia turned cautious on Friday ahead of a key jobs report in the U.S. but Shanghai stocks rallied as investors cheered new measures by the Chinese central bank to open up its capital markets.
Lachlan Colquhoun, Head of Markets Analysis at East and Partners outlines how factors like cost-cutting are helping spur solid earnings results from Australia's 'big four' lenders.
Westpac, Australia's third-largest lender, posted a forecast-beating half-year profit on Friday, rewarding investors with a special dividend.
Asia's equity markets rose to fresh peaks on Tuesday, fueled by hopes of central bank stimulus but Japanese shares fell, weighed down by mixed economic data.
David Ellis, Head of Australian Banking Research at Morningstar Australasia says that despite modest credit growth, Australia's top lenders can generate solid earnings-per-share growth.