Nikkei 225, Japanese yen and GDP data in focus

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Back in Asia, futures pointed to a subdued open for Japanese stocks at the market open. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were off by 0.12 percent at 21,220 compared to the benchmark’s previous close. Osaka futures were 0.26 percent lower at 21,190.

The Nikkei 225 gave up early gains to close lower by 0.65 percent on Tuesday as the yen firmed against the dollar in the last session.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.16 percent in the early going.

Vietnam’s markets will be closed on Wednesday for the Lunar New Year holidays.

Ahead, mainland China markets close from Feb. 15 to Feb. 21 while Hong Kong markets will be shut from Feb. 16 to Feb. 19 for the Lunar New Year. Other regional markets, including South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, will finish the week early due to the holiday.

In currencies, the dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of six rivals, extended losses in the last session. The dollar index stood at 89.737 at 6:53 a.m. HK/SIN, slipping from the 90 handle seen earlier in the week.

Meanwhile, the yen firmed to touch a five-month high in the last session. The dollar last traded at 107.81 after slipping as low as 107.39 earlier in the overnight session.

On the commodities front, oil prices were little changed on Tuesday as markets focused on global oil supply and last week’s slide in prices.

Brent crude futures edged up 0.2 percent to settle at $67.72 per barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate slipped 0.2 percent to settle at $59.19.

2018-02-13 18:21:00
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