Wall Street remained under pressure on Wednesday as investors continued to worry about the U.S. tax reforms after two Republicans spoke out against their party’s latest Senate proposal, but that didn’t keep Asian shares and the U.S. dollar from heading higher on Thursday, bolstered by solid economic data out in both Australia and the U.S.
The dollar gained against most of its primary trading partners during Thursday’s Asian session, with the euro easing 0.07 percent against the greenback to 1.1784. The dollar was up 0.18 percent against the yen to 113.05 as of 2:08 p.m. HK/SIN.
Data out Wednesday showed that retail sales beat forecasts and that core U.S. inflated headed higher, strengthening expectations for another interest rate hike this year, and supporting the possibility for several additional hikes next year.
Despite this positive outlook, Wall Street closed lower on Wednesday, pressured by a fall in energy prices and energy stocks. Also pressuring stock prices was the increased likelihood that the proposed tax reform will not pass before the end of the year, after two Republicans spoke out against their party’s proposals.
Asian markets bucked Wall Street’s declines on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 1.55 percent on Thursday afternoon, breaking a six-day losing streak on Thursday thanks to gains in the retail, tech and financial sectors. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.65 percent. Australia’s ASX 200 gained 0.16 percent after the country’s jobless rate fell to the lowest rate in October since early 2013.