Asian stock prices edged higher on Wednesday in anticipation of U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s news conference, scheduled to be held later today, in which he is expected to outline his economic plan with greater detail and transparency. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside of Japan hit fresh two-month highs, rising 0.4 percent and erasing most of the losses it has suffered since Trump’s victory.
Though skeptics are predicting that the “Trump Rally” is winding down, the dollar also looked higher on Wednesday, with the dollar index up 0.2 percent to trade at 102.18 .DXY. The greenback traded at 116.100 yen, up 0.3 percent after two days of losses. The dollar also saw some gains against the euro, hitting a 10-day high overnight and settling slightly lower at $1.0545, a 0.1 percent gain in the morning. Trump supporters are expecting the dollar to continue its uptrend if Trump’s announcement includes implementable ideas for economic stimulus, including tax cuts.
Oil Prices Also Higher
Oil prices also traded slightly higher on Wednesday, boosted by reports about Saudi Arabia’s production cuts. U.S. WTI crude oil futures traded up 15 cents since Tuesday’s close, to $50.97 per barrel. Brent crude prices were up 11 cents, to $53.75 per barrel. Despite these modest gains both commodities are down nearly 6 percent since the start of the year.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration announced on Tuesday that American crude production would increase in 2017 by 110,000 barrels per day, to a total of 9 million barrels per day. U.S. stockpile figures are also weighing on oil prices, and traders are waiting for the reports due Wednesday.
Though there remain lingering questions as to whether OPEC and non-OPEC states will comply with their agreement to cut output, severe cold weather in Russia forced a production halt in the early days of the year, reducing production by about 100,000 barrels per day. Though this hindrance may not be permanent, traders hope that it will help to keep production down and to encourage other countries to curb their production as well, to keep oil prices in check.