Oil prices, earnings season, FOMC in focus

Stateside, major U.S. indexes closed higher on Tuesday after several large companies, including Caterpillar and McDonald’s, announced quarterly results that beat analyst expectations.

The S&P advanced 0.29 percent, or 7.22 points, to close at a record 2,477.13, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.47 percent, or 100.26 points, to end at 21,613.43 and the Nasdaq gained 0.02 percent, or 1.37 points, to close at 6,412.17.

In currencies, the dollar edged up after falling to a fresh 13-month low overnight. The dollar index, which measures the dollar against a basket of currencies, traded at 94.054 at 6:57 a.m. HK/SIN. Against the Japanese currency, the dollar firmed to fetch 111.89 yen compared to levels around the 111.1 handle seen earlier this week.

Stronger consumer confidence data released Tuesday and a narrow Senate vote to begin debate on the repeal of Obamacare in the U.S. were factors that contributed to the slight recovery in the dollar, National Australia Bank Director of Economics David de Garis said in a morning note.

Meanwhile the common currency rose to its strongest levels against the dollar since August 2015 in the overnight session, Reuters said. The euro traded at $1.1646 at 7:05 a.m. HK/SIN after breaching the $1.17 level overnight.

In corporate news, Japan’s Toshiba was likely to be in the spotlight after the company’s board announced it would meet with other bidders on Wednesday, Reuters said. Western Digital and Foxconn were among the companies from which Toshiba will be reviewing offers, a source told Reuters.

Toshiba announced in June that a consortium led by the Innovation Network Corporation of Japan was the company’s preferred bidder for the sale of its chip unit. However, the company has been unable to secure an agreement with the INCJ-led group.

Asian corporates reporting earnings today include South Korea’s LG Display and Hyundai Motors, as well as Japan’s Line and Nintendo.

On the economic calendar for Wednesday, Australia second-quarter CPI will be expected at 9:30 a.m. HK/SIN. Singapore industrial production data for the month of June is due at 1:00 p.m. HK/SIN.

Markets will also anticipate the end of the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) two-day meeting Wednesday U.S. time for signals about the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy plans.

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