Before the open - 09/08 - Asian rollercoasters

Asian shares moved around a lot last night with most heading down towards the finish as mixed market signals drove prices.

The Nikkei initially bounced back after days of losses last night on the back of a weakening yen against the dollar and good news from New York. However, it then fell after consumer confidence fell by more than expected, with the official index coming in at 43.6 from 44.3, versus expectations of moderation to 45.0.

The Bank of Japan’s monthly economic report contained little that could change the game fundamentally at first glance. Investors will be watching out for preliminary gross domestic product data out on Monday.

And the Shanghai Composite plummeted down 0.6 per cent after early gains as consumer price inflation held steady at 0.1 per cent month-on-month in July (2.7 per cent from the year before) while producer price deflation eased slightly less than expected - to 2.3 per cent from 2.7 per cent (versus expectations of 2.2 per cent).

But it was then boosted slightly as industrial output figures beat expectations, coming in at a 9.7 per cent year-on-year increase from 8.9 per cent the previous month. Analysts had expected to see 9.0 per cent. However, retail sales increased just 13.2 per cent, down from the 13.3 per cent seen the month before and missing expectations of 13.5 per cent. Urban investment for the year-to-date remained in line with the previous month at 20.1 per cent.

Finally, the Hang Seng remained buoyed up around half a percentage point. China Shenhua Energy was up more than four per cent at one point as traders said coal prices may finally recover as producers stock up before the Daqin rail maintenance project.

The FTSE is expected to open slightly up today.

Key events today:

UK goods trade balance for June at 09:30. A rise from an £8.491bn deficit to an £8.500bn expected. Non-EU trade deficit expected to fall from £4.093bn to £3.800bn.

Canadian unemployment rate at 13:30. Expected to remain stable at 7.1 per cent.