As a result Asia has been left to its own devices and investors seem reluctant to bid equities higher. The one factor in play at the moment is an escalation of Iraq concerns and how this is pushing energy prices higher. With reports suggesting the US will be looking to reconcile the relationship with Iran in order to deal with the Iraq situation, investors are happy to remain cautious. This has kept energy plays well bid in most of Asia today.
Taking a closer look at currency plays, which tend to dictate sentiment, moves have also been limited in Asia. The most significant move has been USD/JPY slipping below 102, presumably on the back of a safe haven play on the yen. The drop in USD/JPY has also put Japan equities under pressure with the Nikkei dipping below the 15,000 level. The safe-haven trade certainly seems to be gaining momentum as gold has also managed to extend its gains in Asia.
Gold resumed trading in Asia at 1278 and has since extended this to 1282. It has been a swift comeback for the precious metal, which dipped to 1240 just a couple of weeks ago. This has also seen it trade right on a downtrend resistance line which has been in place since 15 April and we really need to see a close above 1282 to confirm the break. Additionally, this would also see it close above the 200-day moving average.