Asia Pacific stocks edge higher; Australia’s second quarter GDP data expected

Stocks in Asia Pacific rose in Wednesday morning trade as stocks on Wall Street notched new records overnight.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.41% in early trade while the Topix index added 0.18%. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.38%.

Meanwhile, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 advanced 0.51%.

Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index traded about 0.1% higher.

On the economic data front, Australia’s second quarter gross domestic product figures are set to be out at around 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN. 

“Q2 was a tough one for many countries and Australia should be no exception,” Kathy Lien, managing director of foreign exchange strategy at BK Asset Management, wrote in a note dated Sept. 1. “The economy is expected to fall into recession.”

Overnight stateside, the S&P 500 rose 0.8% to close at 3,526.65 while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.4% to end its trading day at 11,939.67. Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq hit all-time highs. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also jumped 215.61 points, or 0.8%, to close at 28,645.66.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 92.216 after following an earlier bounce from levels below 92.0.

The Japanese yen traded at 105.91 per dollar, having seen levels around 105.5 against the greenback earlier in the week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7379, higher than levels below $0.721 seen last week.

Oil prices were higher in the morning of Asian trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures up 0.59% to $45.85 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also advanced 0.75% to $43.08 per barrel.

What’s on tap:

  • Australia: Second quarter GDP at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN