Asian Stocks Rally as Yen Rise Stalls; Oil Climbs: Markets Wrap

Publikuota: 2018-02-19
Romeo Ranoco („Reuters“/„Scanpix“) nuotr.
Romeo Ranoco („Reuters“/„Scanpix“) nuotr.
 

Japanese shares led Asia higher Monday with the Topix index climbing the most in six weeks as a rally in the yen faded and U.S. equities capped their best week in five years. The dollar steadied against major peers and oil climbed above $62 a barrel.

Asian shares are building on their best week since September 2016, with stocks in Seoul, Sydney and Singapore also gaining, even as markets in Hong Kong and China are closed for the Lunar New Year holiday and in the U.S. for Presidents’ Day. S&P 500 Index futures rose after the benchmark closed little changed Friday as investors assessed the implications of new indictments in the Russia/U.S. election investigation. The index ended about 4 percent higher for the week and the 10-year Treasury yield fell back below 2.9 percent.

Meanwhile, the yen retreated from a 15-month high even as data showed Japan’s exports and imports grew strongly in January from a year earlier in a sign the economy continues to expand. German bunds fell and the euro edged higher.

Global equities staged a recovery last week after their worst selloff in two years as investors fretted about the outlook for high interest rates. In Asia, traders return to their desks in Hong Kong on Tuesday, while Chinese markets reopen on Thursday.

Here are some key events scheduled for this week:

The Reserve Bank of Australia releases minutes of its February meeting Tuesday.   The Federal Reserve will release minutes Wednesday of its Jan. 30-31 meeting, Janet Yellen’s last as chair, where officials kept the rate unchanged. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney addresses the Parliament’s Treasury Committee on the Feb. 8 policy decision and forecasts. A slew of U.K. economic data is due including fourth-quarter GDP and employment figures. Fed policy makers speaking this week include New York Fed President William Dudley and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is among speakers at the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum in New York City. Japan updates on CPI on Friday. Companies announcing earnings this week include: Walmart, Home Depot, HSBC, BHP Billiton, Glencore, Barclays. The U.S. Treasury plans to sell $151 billion in three auctions on Tuesday that will result in the heaviest day of T-bill supply on record, according to Bloomberg data going back to 1994.

These are the main moves in markets: Stocks

The Topix index jumped 2.2 percent at the close of trading in Tokyo, the most since Jan. 4. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 2 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.6 percent and the Kospi index rose 0.9 percent. Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent. The underlying measure rose less than 0.1 percent at the close of trading in New York Friday. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up 0.9 percent.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed. The Japanese yen fell 0.3 percent to 106.47 per dollar. The euro was steady at $1.2410. The British pound was little changed at $1.4026.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell four basis points to 2.87 percent Friday. Treasuries are not trading Monday because of the holiday in the U.S. Australia’s 10-year bond yield lost almost four basis points to 2.89 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.2 percent to $62.40 a barrel, on track to gain for a fourth day. It posted its first weekly increase since last month. Gold was little changed at $1,347.47 an ounce.

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