TOKYO, July 18 (Reuters) – Key TOCOM rubber futures edged down early on Wednesday after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gave no signal on whether the Fed was closer to more monetary stimulus, though he left the door open for such measures.
* Bernanke repeated the Fed’s pledge to act if needed, even while offering no new clues on when or how the central bank might offer extra support to the U.S. economy.
* Japan’s Nikkei share average opened higher on Wednesday, buoyed by a rise in U.S stocks as several blue chips beat earnings expectations.
* Oil futures fell in early Asian trade on Wednesday, snapping five days of gains as Bernanke offered no signs of further monetary stimulus to boost growth in the world’s biggest oil consumer.
DATA EVENTS (GMT)
* The following data is expected on Wednesday:
- 1230 U.S. Build permits: change mm Jun
- 1230 U.S. House starts mm: change Jun
- 1230 U.S. Housing starts number mm Jun
- 1430 U.S. EIA petroleum status report Weekly
- 1400 Bernanke delivers semiannual monetary policy report to the Congress before the House Financial Services Committee
- 1800 Fed releases Beige Book of economic conditions
- China House prices Jun (Reporting by Yuko Inoue; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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