Asian Stocks Trading Flat Ahead of Yellen’s Speech

A gauge of Asian stocks outside Japan was little changed, after yesterday capping a third daily gain, before Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen delivers her first testimony on monetary policy.

The MSCI Asia Pacific excluding Japan Index held at 444.60 as of at 8:04 a.m. in Hong Kong, the same level as yesterday’s close. The regional gauge has climbed 2.3 percent from a five-month low on Feb. 5 as equities rebounded from a global rout. Yellen will speak on monetary policy and the outlook for the economy today for the first time since being sworn in as the central bank’s head. Japanese markets are closed for a holiday.

“With U.S. employment data materially deteriorating, there is a building argument that the Fed should ease off tightening monetary conditions,” Gary Dugan, who helps oversee about $53 billion as Singapore-based chief investment officer in Asia and the Middle East for Coutts & Co., the wealth management unit of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, wrote in a e-mail yesterday. “We suspect that Yellen would not want to significantly change policy at her first meeting in March.”


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Mingze Wu

Mingze Wu

Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Based in Singapore, Mingze Wu focuses on trading strategies and technical and fundamental analysis of major currency pairs. He has extensive trading experience across different asset classes and is well-versed in global market fundamentals. In addition to contributing articles to MarketPulseFX, Mingze centers on forex and macro-economic trends impacting the Asia Pacific region.
Mingze Wu