Business

Dollar, equity markets up as focus turns to banker gathering

The dollar edged up Friday ahead of a much-anticipated central bankers' meeting later in the day, while equity markets also advanced at the end of a broadly upbeat week.

Hurricane Harvey has led to the evacuation of oil platforms along the Gulf Coast, lifting prices of the commodity
Hurricane Harvey has led to the evacuation of oil platforms along the Gulf Coast, lifting prices of the commodity (Shutterstock.com)

NEW YORK - The dollar edged up Friday ahead of a much-anticipated central bankers' meeting later in the day, while equity markets also advanced at the end of a broadly upbeat week.
The rises came despite ongoing ructions in Washington where President Donald Trump on Thursday berated top members of his Republican party, days after threatening to shut down the government and rip up a key trade deal with Canada and Mexico.
His ongoing battle with Capitol Hill has fanned fears the tycoon will not be able to push through his promised tax cuts, deregulation and infrastructure spending programme, which many believe would help fire up the US economy.

Heads of central banks from around the world are descending on Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for their annual symposium but investors are focusing on Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen and European Central Bank (ECB) head Mario Draghi.
While not expecting any major announcements from either, their remarks will be pored over for clues about their plans for monetary policy in two of the world's biggest economies.
"With announcements expected from both in the coming months, investors will be looking to their speeches at Jackson Hole -- a platform used to prepare markets for policy changes by previous Fed Chairs Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke -- for similar policy signals," said OANDA senior market analyst Craig Erlam.
The euro has rallied in recent weeks on speculation the ECB will begin to wind down its crisis-era stimulus measures as the eurozone continues to improve, while still-soft US inflation has dented expectations of further Fed interest rate hikes this year.
However, the single currency has dipped back slightly this week as dealers steel themselves for the weekend's meeting.

Samsung slips
In share trading Tokyo's Nikkei ended 0.5 percent higher thanks to a weaker yen.
Hong Kong rose 1.2 percent, marking a fourth-straight day of gains, while Shanghai added 1.8 percent. Energy firms in both cities were lifted by news that PetroChina's net profit jumped more than 2,000 percent to $1.9 billion in the first half and that it would distribute the cash among shareholders in the form of dividends. The move fuelled hopes of similar moves by other energy companies.
Seoul rose 0.1 percent, with market heavyweight Samsung Electronics losing more than one percent after company heir Lee Jae-Yong was jailed for five years for bribery, perjury and other crimes linked to the corruption scandal that brought down ousted president Park Geun-Hye.
However, Singapore shed 0.3 percent and Sydney was flat.
In early European trade London, Paris and Frankfurt each rose 0.2 percent.
Trump turned up the heat Thursday on Republican leaders in Congress, accusing them of foot-dragging on his key priorities, in an intensifying feud that puts his policy agenda in jeopardy.
He tweeted against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan after threatening Tuesday a government shutdown if Congress does not fund his border wall with Mexico.
The split comes as lawmakers prepare to return from recess needing to agree funding for the government into next year and also raise the debt ceiling to avert a devastating default. Fitch has already warned it would review its US sovereign rating if the government was shut down.
Oil ticked up as Hurricane Harvey barrelled towards the crude-rich Texas coastline, causing the closure and evacuation of platforms. The Gulf Coast is home to around half the United States' refining capacity.
"As refineries and terminals start slowing or shutting down operations, gasoline prices spiked on fears... of damage to facilities," said Sukrit Vijayakar of energy consultancy Trifecta.

Key figures around 0820 GMT
Tokyo - Nikkei 225: 0.5 percent at 19,452.61 (close)
Hong Kong - Hang Seng: UP 1.2 percent at 27,848.16 (close)
Shanghai - Composite: UP 1.8 percent at 3,331.52 (close)
London - FTSE 100: UP 0.2 percent at 7,420.45
Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1793 from $1.1800 at 2100 GMT
Pound/dollar: UP at $1.2802 from $1.2799
Dollar/yen: UP at 109.61 yen from 109.26 yen
Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP 40 cents at $47.83
Oil - Brent North Sea: UP 45 cents at $52.49 per barrel
New York - Dow: DOWN 0.1 percent at 21,783.40 (close)