Asia Stocks Consolidate After Touching Decade Highs, Dollar Steady | 5/24/2017 | Staff
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TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks edged down on Thursday, consolidating after touching their highest in a decade, while the dollar held steady before the U.S. inflation report for August is published.

Financial markets will also be on tenterhooks ahead of a run of data from China due at 0200 GMT, including factory output, fixed asset investment and retail sales, that will show the strength of the world’s second-biggest economy.

MSCI - Index - Asia-Pacific - Shares - Japan

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1 percent after rising to its highest since 2007 the day before.

Japan’s Nikkei was effectively flat following its climb to a one-month high on Wednesday.

Dollar - Index - Basket - Currencies - US

The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies stood tall, lifted as U.S. Treasury yields climbed to 2-1/2-week highs on an ongoing improvement in broader investor risk sentiment.

The dollar index was at 92.399 after touching 92.530 overnight, its highest since Sept. 5. It had slumped to a 2-1/2-year low of 91.011 on Friday, when Hurricane Irma threatened the continental United States and on North Korea concerns.

Focus - Week - Fundamentals - Risks - Disasters

Focus returned this week to fundamentals from geopolitical risks and natural disasters, with investors poised for the U.S. consumer price index (CPI) due later in the session and its potential impact on the Federal Reserve’s stance on interest rates.

Expectations for the Fed to hike rates again in 2017 have waned as U.S. inflation has proved to be relatively sluggish.


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