Asian Shares Mixed In Cautious Trade

(RTTNews) - Asian stocks were mixed on Thursday despite major U.S. indexes hitting record closing highs overnight on expectations of more rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. The Independence Day holiday in the U.S. kept activity somewhat subdued.

China's Shanghai Composite index was down 0.1 percent, giving up early gains as trade worries persist despite a temporary trade truce with the U.S. reached last week at the G20 summit. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was little changed as investigations into Monday's protests in the city continue.

Japan's Nikkei index was rising 0.3 percent despite the yen gaining ground against the dollar.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 was up half a percent after surging to its highest level in more than 11-1/2 years earlier in the day on Fed rate cut hopes.

Banks gained ground on hopes for a third Australian rate cut in 2019 as retail sales figures disappointed yet again and job vacancies fell from record highs.

New Zealand's NZX-50 index rose 0.2 percent to hit a fresh record high in intra-day trade while South Korea's Kospi was declining 0.2 percent.

Overnight, U.S. stocks hit record highs as a slew of weak data reinforced expectations for a near-term interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve.

A report from payroll processor ADP showed U.S. private sector job growth reaccelerated in the month of June but still fell below forecasts.

The U.S. trade deficit widened by more than anticipated in May and there was a notable slowdown in the pace of service sector growth, adding to the optimism about a rate cut.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent, while the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained around 0.8 percent.

European markets gained ground on Wednesday on expectations that Lagarde would embrace dovish policy as the ECB's new chief.

The pan European Stoxx 600 climbed 0.9 percent. The German DAX and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 both climbed around 0.7 percent while France's CAC 40 index gained 0.8 percent.

The dollar remains on the back foot and gold held steady after hitting a one-week high the previous day, while oil prices slipped after rising in the previous session despite a smaller-than-expected oil inventory decline.
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