The KOSPI index is displayed at the Korea Exchange stock market in Seoul, South Korea. (Photographer: Nasha Lee/Bloomberg News)

Wednesday Morning Briefing: Asian Shares Advance; Fed Minutes Eyed

Asian shares advanced on Wednesday while the dollar strengthened after data showed economic momentum is building in the euro area.

The S&P 500 Index’s fourth straight gain took it back towards 2,400. The dollar also rose after posting three days of losses.

Oil held gains near $51 a barrel. SGX Nifty futures indicate a positive start for Indian equities after the NSE Nifty index closed lower on Tuesday.

Growth Worries Ease

Risk appetite improved after reports showed the Germany's business confidence rose to the highest since 1991 in May, while manufacturers saw the fastest growth in six years. Economic expansion also accelerated in France.

Attention now turns back to the U.S., with the Federal Reserve due to release the minutes of its latest meeting, offering clues on the pace of interest-rate increases.

Wall Street ended higher on Tuesday, led by financials. President Donald Trump released his fiscal 2018 budget proposal, asking Congress to cut federal spending by $3.6 trillion.

Wednesday Morning Briefing: Asian Shares Advance; Fed Minutes Eyed

Crude Holds Gain

Oil held gains after data showed crude stockpiles declined ahead of a key Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ meeting on Thursday to decide on extending supply cuts.

The American Petroleum Institute is said to have projected a U.S. inventories slid of 1.5 million barrels last week.

Brent crude for July settlement rose 0.1 percent to $54.21 per barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange while West Texas Intermediate for June delivery gained 0.1 percent to $51.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Wednesday Morning Briefing: Asian Shares Advance; Fed Minutes Eyed

Positive Start?

The SGX Nifty Index edged up 0.2 percent at 9,411 as of 06:40 a.m., indicating a positive start for Indian markets.

Indian shares fell on Tuesday, dragged lower by pharmaceutical stocks while the rupee weakened after the Indian army said it had hit locations across the Line of Control with Pakistan recently.

Shares of Tata Motors Ltd. will be in focus on Wednesday after the country’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer’s consolidated net profit fell in the first three months of 2017, but managed to beat estimates.