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Weak year-end trading for currencies; Asian shares scramble for profits.

News Date: 29/12/2015 00:38:50

Asian shares made some gains on Tuesday, supported by a late stabilization in commodities. Japan's Nikkei rose half a percent to 18,966, while Chinese shares recouped some of their heavy losses yesterday, with the CSI300 index advancing 0.27%. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index jumped to a month-high, with a 0.90% profit. South Korea's KOSPI was largely flat, while India's Nifty edged 0.13% up to a month-high.


Wall Street closed slightly down, with energy companies leading the decline. Dow Jones lost 23.90 points, or 0.14% to 17,528.27. NASDAQ gave up 7.51 points, or 0.15% to 5,040.99. S&P 500 slipped 4.49 points, or 0.22% to 2,056.50.


Weak and tight-range trading dominated currency markets, as the long New Year weekend holiday approaches. Dollar's index, which measures its performance against a basket of its peers, inched down 0.06% to 97.94. Dollar traded at 1.0974 against the euro, near a two-week low struck yesterday at 1.0991. It lost 0.14% against sterling to 1.4903. Dollar retreated to 120.32 against the yen, near the two-month low of 120.05.


Oil prices stabilized slightly but were still pressured downward; with U.S. West Texas Intermediary (WTI) crude futures up a cent, or 0.04% to $36.83 a barrel. Brent crude futures added a more robust 13 cents, or 0.36% to $36.67 a barrel, but were still near an 11-year low hit last week at $35.98.


Canadian dollar had a respite after a bruising Monday, taking cue from oil movements; the loonie rose 0.2% against its American counterpart to C$1.3878. Australian dollar gained 0.22% to $0.7266.


Gold futures advanced $3.40, or 0.32% to $1,071.60 an ounce, while Silver added nine cents, or 0.66% to $13.97, trying to move above $14 again after sliding to a ten-day low yesterday. Copper climbed 0.60% to $2.097 a pound.


Being released today, the CB Consumer Confidence survey is forecast at 93.8 for December, which would be marginally higher than November's 90.4, and an indication of a stronger sentiment heading into the new year.      


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