Asian Markets saw a mixed performance today, with Japanese stocks slightly rising supported by exporters. Chinese stocks also rose but Hong Kong markets went down as blue chips fell. In Australia stocks were under pressure by miners with succumbed to increased worries about Chinese future demand. Wall Street rose again yester, Dow marked another record high. Market participants awaiting Trump speech in Congress hoping for insight into economic policies. European stocks rise but worries about future of euro zone increase. Commodities little moved ahead of Trump.

Asian Markets Mixed

- Nikkei 225 Index up 0.1 percent at 19,118 points, broader TOPIX Index up 0.1 percent at 1,535 points; traders remained cautious ahead of Trump’s speech in Congress today; preliminary data on industrial production show 0.8 percent decrease in January MoM; large retailers sales down 1.1 percent in January; housing start up 12.8 percent YoY in January; exporters saw gains today, oil stocks also rose; shares of Toshiba declined 3.5 percent, Takeda Pharmaceutical and Rakuten also lower

- Chinese stocks slightly higher, Shanghai Shenzhen Index up 0.4 percent at 3,241 points, CSI 300 Index up 0.2 percent at 3,452 points; market participants are awaiting latest data on Chinese economy after seeing improved economic performance in prior months; worries are growing that Chinese authorities will start focusing on monetary tightening and strengthening market regulations

- Hang Seng Index down 0.7 percent at 23,754 points, Hang Seng China Enterprises Index lost 0.5 percent at 10,276 points; blue chips were mostly down with HSBC losing 0.8 percent, AIA down 2.1 percent, Standard Chartered lost 1.5 percent and Tencent 1.5 percent lower; bourse operator HKEx down 1.4 percent after reporting earnings that came in at the lower end of expectations; property developers mixed with Sino Land rising 0.7 percent, Wharf Holdings down 0.5 percent and Hun Hung Kai Properties down 1.0 percent

- Australian stocks lower as ASX 200 dropped 0.2 percent to 5,712 points; miners closed mostly lower, BHP Billiton flat, Rio Tinto dropped 0.8 percent, Fortescue Metals down 0.5 percent; gold miner Newcrest Mining down 4.0 percent in anticipation of Donald Trump’s speech, seeing possibility of broader stimulus announcement

- Korean stocks up 0.3 percent at 2,091 points, supported by higher Wall Street; traders also waiting for Trump’s speech hoping for more insight into economic policies; shares of Samsung Electronics up 1.0 percent after announcing plans to abandon its Futures Strategy Office; SK Hynix up 1.5 percent, steel maker POSCO up 1.3 percent; car stocks mixed with Hyundai Motor up 0.7 percent, Kia Motors unchanged

Wall Street Up Again

- Dow up 0.1 percent at 20,837 points, NASDAQ rose 0.3 percent to 5,861 points, S&P 500 up 0.1 percent at 2,369 points

- in Dow losers outnumbered gainers, shares of Caterpillar, Chevron United Health and Boeing rose; Verizon, IBM, Wal-Mart, General Electric and DuPont lost

- durable goods orders in January rose 1.8 percent, but ex Transportation sector down 0.2 percent, pending home sales in January down 2.8 percent; Dallas Fed Manufacturing Business Index up 2.4 to 24.5 points

- traders betting on some kind of spending announcement in today’s speech of Donald Trump in Congress, but there is also fear of disappointment; one analysts from Raymond James said, according to Reuters news agency, that investors want something concrete on taxes but government was focused on affordable care act

- Dallas Fed president Kaplan said need for higher interest rates higher as central bank should avoid falling behind inflation curve

- today’s economic calendar includes Q4 GDP, consumer confidence, Richmond Fed manufacturing index

European Stocks Rise

- Euro Stoxx 50 up 0.1 percent at 3,313 points, London’s FTSE 100 Index flat at 7,254 points, French CAC 40 down 0.1 percent at 4,850 points, German DAX flat at 11,820 points, Italy’s FTSE MIB Index up 0.2 percent at 18,957 points

- in London shares of Fresnillo lose 4.6 percent, Randgold Resources down 3.3 percent, Glencore 1.7 percent lower; Bunzi up 4.7 percent, GKN up 4.7 percent, Pearon up 3.2 percent, BAE Systems 2.6 percent higher
in Frankfurt shares of Heidelberg Cement, Deutsche Bank, Continental rise; Infineon, Thyssenkrupp and Vonovia decline

- among investors fears of a euro zone break up rises again, Sentix reported rise of so-called “euro break-up” index up at 25.2 percent in February; euro crisis seen back fully in markets, with fears of contagion up at 45 percent a level not seen since the crises in 2012/13; Greece seen at highest risk of leaving euro zone, Italy and France also on radar

- French GDP expected to rise 1.2 percent YOY in first quarter

Gold, Oil Little Changed

- spot gold sideways at $1,252.96/oz; Dollar Index slightly weaker at 101.07 dollars; investors remains cautious ahead of Trump speech today; despite expectations of pro-growth policies in Trump’s speech, gold has sufficient underlying support, traders say, breaking the 200-day moving average might lend further support, a trader and MKS PAMP said

- oil supported by reports that Russia’s oil output was reduced by 124,00 bpd in February, after cutting 117,000 in January; in the U.S. output keeps rising, data showed increase in output to more than 9 million bpd last week, number of operating rigs at highest since October 2015

- base metals little moved, copper down 0.4 percent at $5,915/metric ton in London trading, aluminum higher, nickel down; copper continuously supported by strike in Chile and fights between Indonesian government and Freeport-McMoRan, Freeport shareholders demand company to challenge Indonesia on latest changes in contracts

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