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Yen Soars Again; China’s PMI Dragged Down Asian Equities

The Japanese Yen maintained its lead in the currency markets while hovering near 18-month high against the U.S. Dollar (CURRENCY:USD). At the same time, the rate cut announced by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) pushed the Yen to a two-month high against the Australian dollar. The RBA joined the bandwagon of other central banks in adopting stimulus measures as it announced a 25 basis points cut in its interest rates to 1.75%. USD/JPY (USDJPY) pair had shed 0.74% to 105.62 during the Asian afternoon trading session.

Dollar’s losses widen

Meanwhile, the scenario for the dollar was unchanged since the previous day as far as its performance against the major global currencies is concerned. EUR/USD (EURUSD) added 0.63% to 1.1607, a level high since last August while GBP/USD (GBPUSD) rose further from its 12-week highs to 1.4761, a rise of 0.59%.

In the global markets, Asian equities pared their session gains to close lower with Australian and Chinese equities making an exception. Australia’s ASX All Ordinaries gained 1.94% to 5,415 after the RBA announced interest rate cut.

The rest of the Asia was disappointed with a drop in China’s Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers index (PMI). The index posted a dip for the 14 the straight month to 49.4 in April from 49.7 in March. The European stocks too made a weak opening, reflecting the Asian sentiment and dragged by underperformance in auto, mining and banking stocks.

Oil rebounds in Asian trade

Crude oil prices rebounded during the Asian trade but according to market analysts, the gains should remain capped as worries over growing output remains intact. Brent Crude rose 0.26% to $45.95 per barrel while the West Texas Intermediate Crude Oil gained 0.25% to $44.89 per barrels. There are slim chances for crude prices to touch $50 barrel mark unless OPEC members act swiftly to ease oversupply concerns, said commodity experts.

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