Stocks Retreat as Dollar Firms

The dollar was higher against its primary trading partners on Tuesday morning as stocks indexes paused their wining streaks. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was down as much as 1.25 percent in early Asian trade and was 1.08 percent lower as of 1:47 p.m. HK/SIN, weighed down by the financial and manufacturing sectors. South Korea’s Kospi was down 1.03 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was down 0.15 percent mostly due to declines in the technology sector. Australia’s ASX 200 remained unchanged. Trading volumes were low due to national holidays in China, Taiwan and Vietnam. Asian stocks followed European indexes lower. On Monday, European shares broke their three-day upswing by closing broadly lower.

The dollar index was trading at 89.35 .DXY, slightly below a high of 89.442 hit on Monday, but still above last week’s lows. The dollar firmed against the yen, trading up 0.18 percent to 106.78. The dollar was also higher against the euro, trading at $1.2383.

Oil Movements

Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday after rising on Monday following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement that Israel would act against Iran independently if necessary. Higher prices were further supported by reduced flows from Canada’s Keystone pipeline whose production has been hampered by a leak since last year. On Monday, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo announced that OPEC’s compliance with the imposed production cuts is standing at 133 percent, up from 107 percent last year. Still, increased production in the United States continually threatens to undermine OPEC’s efforts. U.S. WTI futures were up 1.04 percent to $62.32 per barrel, but Brent crude futures were down 0.30 percent to $65.47 per barrel.

Sara Patterson has a Master’s Degree in political science and enjoys analyzing both current events and the international markets to get a fuller perspective of the currency market. Before turning to financial writing, she taught English writing skills to high-school age students. Sara’s work has been published on various financial and Forex blogs.