Asia Stocks Trade at Decade High as Oil Holds Gain: Markets Wrap

Publikuota: 2017-11-07
Ali Jarekji („Reuters“/„Scanpix“) nuotr.
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Ali Jarekji („Reuters“/„Scanpix“) nuotr.
 

Asian stocks climbed, with a regional index trading at its highest in a decade, as energy and materials companies benefited from a surge in oil and metals prices. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average finished at its strongest level since 1992.

Equities from Japan to Sydney to Hong Kong made fresh milestones. Earnings and a weaker yen helped propel the Nikkei 225 just shy of 23,000, to a level not seen since January 1992. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index closed at the highest level in almost 10 years. The Aussie dollar pulled back after getting a boost as the central bank highlighted confidence in the investment outlook, though left its forecast for growth largely unchanged and kept interest rates on hold. A political power play in Saudi Arabia contributed to oil climbing to its highest in more than two years.

“Good economy, good corporate earnings, good supply-demand conditions in the market are continuing, which have been supporting the stock market,” said Shunichi Otsuka, general manager in the research department at Ichiyoshi Securities in Tokyo. “The global economy as well as Japan’s economy are growing.”

New Zealand’s new, left-of-center government kept the central bank’s existing target for the pace of inflation, spurring an early rally in the kiwi. The government said that the independence of the Reserve Bank won’t change and that it will retain the existing 1-3 percent inflation goal. The new administration also confirmed it’s considering a dual mandate for the central bank of targeting full employment as well as price stability.

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The Reserve Bank of Australia kept the cash target rate unchanged at 1.5 percent as expected by all economists surveyed. The central bank said that the outlook for non-mining business investment has improved, though inflation is likely to remain low for some time.

U.S. President Donald Trump continues his visit to Asia, stopping in South Korea Tuesday and China Wednesday. He kicked off his first presidential tour to the region in Tokyo, where he aired grievances about U.S. trade relations with Japan though left without any concessions from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The unfolding situation in Saudi Arabia will continue to be watched by investors as the government intensifies an anti-graft drive that’s seen a number of senior officials ousted. Saudi Arabia’s attorney general said the weekend arrests of princes, businessmen and officials were only “phase one.”

Here are key events to watch out for this week:

China’s October foreign reserves are out on Tuesday. U.S. consumer sentiment probably cooled in early November from a more than 13-year high; the University of Michigan’s report is out on Friday. OPEC releases its World Oil Outlook. Argentina, Mexico, New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand also have monetary-policy decisions this week. The European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis resume talks. Earnings season continues with announcements from Toyota Motor Corp., BMW AG, Walt Disney Co., Adidas AG, and Siemens AG. European financial companies set to report include Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, Credit Agricole SA, Allianz SE and Zurich Insurance Group AG.

And these are the main moves in markets: Stocks

The Topix index rose 1.2 and the Nikkei 225 jumped 1.7 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index added 1 percent to finish at the highest since January 2008. South Korea’s Kospi index lost 0.2 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 1.4 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index added 0.5 percent. Futures on the S&P 500 Index were up 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge closed up 0.1 percent Monday at a record. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 1 percent to the highest since 2007.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index inched higher after dropping 0.3 percent on Monday. The kiwi dollar was little changed on the New York close at 69.40 U.S. cents, after jumping as much as 0.7 percent on Monday. The Aussie dollar was at 76.81 U.S. cents after briefly pushing above 77 U.S. cents following the RBA decision. It gained 0.5 percent Monday. The yen slipped 0.3 percent to 114 per dollar. It climbed 0.3 percent in the previous session. The Korean won rose 0.3 percent to 1,111.80 per dollar, outperforming Asian currencies and approaching its highest for the year. The euro traded at $1.1608.

Bonds

Yields on 10-year Treasuries rose about one basis point to 2.33 percent, down from the recent high of 2.48 percent posted late last month. Australia’s 10-year yield rose one basis point to 2.58 percent. Japanese 10-year bond yields were at 0.025 percent, roughly half the level at last week’s close.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $57.33, after soaring 3.1 percent on Monday. Gold retreated 0.2 percent to $1,279.44 an ounce. Copper held onto gains after rising 1.3 percent to $3.16 a pound on Monday.

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