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Asian markets on course to end week on positive note

July 12, 2019: Asian equities mostly rose in early trade Friday but gains were slight as investors applied the brakes after recent advances, with debate now focusing on the depth of an expected US interest rate cut.

Donald Trump also sparked some unease after having a dig at China by accusing it of backsliding on a trade promise — just days after the two sides tentatively began phone talks on resolving their tariffs war.

Still, the region is on course for a positive end to a week dominated by Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell's congressional testimony, which all but flicked the switch on a rate cut at the end of the month.

A second day of testimony Thursday essentially reiterated his point.

His comments, which highlighted economic headwinds from the trade war and slowing global growth, sparked a rally on world markets.

“We have a sitting (policy board) that is prepared to over-deliver on markets' expectations as… Powell's monetary policy testimony unambiguously reinforces his inclination to cut rates aggressively,” said Vanguard Markets' Stephen Innes.

He added that even a forecast-beating inflation report on Thursday was unable to deter traders from betting on a reduction.

“Not surprisingly there is 100 percent consensus the Fed is going to cut in July. But we are still no closer to settling the 25 or 50 (basis points) July rate cut debate.”

AFP/APP

Posted on: 2019-07-12T09:41:00+05:00

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