Markets

Focus on dollar, ECB, China FX reserves, currencies

In Asia Pacific equities, futures implied a higher open for Japanese equities. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were up 0.45 percent at 19,445 and Osaka futures were 0.68 percent higher at 19,490. The Nikkei 225 closed at 19,357.97 on Wednesday.

Australian SPI futures, meanwhile, were off 0.05 percent at 5,687, mostly unchanged compared to the benchmark index’s previous close of 5,689.73.

In economic news, the Bank of Canada raised interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday, taking the overnight lending rate to 1 percent. The move, mostly unexpected by markets, gave the Canadian dollar a boost. The loonie traded at $1.2231 to the dollar at 6:52 a.m. HK/SIN, compared to the $1.24 handle seen earlier in the week.

Here’s the economic calendar for Thursday (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 8:30 a.m.: Australia July retail sales and trade data
  • 6:00 p.m.: Malaysia’s Bank Negara interest rate decision
  • China FX reserves are also due

Ahead, markets awaited the European Central Bank’s interest rate decision expected later Thursday. While President Mario Draghi had previously remarked that the central bank’s quantitative easing program would be discussed in “the fall,” new announcements on the program could only come in October.

The euro held above the $1.19 handle ahead of the decision, trading at $1.1922 at 6:50 a.m. HK/SIN.

— CNBC’s Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report.

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