Asian stocks follow their US peers higher; dollar gains on the yen

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Asian stocks rose on Friday, warmed by the embers of a strong day on Wall Street that also supported risk-prone currencies and hurt the safe haven yen, although concerns about the Chinese economy have limited earnings.

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask, following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, stands in front of an electrical board showing Nikkei (top in C) and other stock index country outside a brokerage house in a business district of Tokyo, Japan, January 4, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon / File Photo

Oil prices were also testing new multi-year highs again, a drag on growth in energy-importing markets in North Asia, but good news for energy-exporting markets in Southeast Asia.

The largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks excluding Japan gained 0.6%, and Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.08%.

US stocks rose overnight after data showed lower new jobless claims, lower than expected ex-factory price inflation and better-than-expected results for the four largest consumer banks American.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 1.57%, the S&P 500 climbed 1.46% and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.68%, although analysts said Asia seemed unlikely to match. to these increases.

“(US gains) will strengthen sentiment in the pockets, but what we’ve seen recently in Asian markets, particularly mainland China and Hong Kong stocks, is that regional concerns have taken precedence. some of the most positive feelings in the US markets, ”said Kyle Rodda, analyst at IG Markets.

“My feeling is that things are going to remain quite mixed and volatile in the Asian markets.”

Chinese blue chips fell shortly after the bell, but remained flat for the last time, while Hong Kong stocks returned from a one-day break to open higher before falling to be also stable.

US equity futures, the S&P 500 e-minis, gained 0.15%.

A data dump from China scheduled for Monday is very much on the minds of investors, with the world’s second-largest economy due to release third-quarter GDP figures as well as monthly investment and activity figures.

“We expect GDP growth to slow to 4.6% yoy in the third quarter from 5.6% previously, given continued weakness in consumption and services amid repeated outbreaks of COVID , and the erasure of the weak base from the previous year, ”he added. Barclays analysts said in a note.

Chinese September factory exit inflation hit a record high on Thursday with soaring commodity prices, but weak demand capped consumer inflation, leaving policymakers on a tightrope between support the economy and boost producer prices.

In currency markets, the dollar again hit an almost three-year high against the yen on Friday, with the dollar buying 113.89 yen, the highest since December 2018.

The Dollar Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was down slightly on that day, at 94.00 and poised for its first weekly decline against its major peers since early last month, after losing some ground on the pound sterling and the euro. .

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was 1.5247%, little change on the day, after trending down this week from Tuesday’s four-month high of 1.631%.

The Australian dollar paused near its monthly high a day earlier on Friday, which ABC analysts said was due to dollar weakness and firm commodity prices.

US crude rose 0.63% to $ 81.82 a barrel, back near Monday’s seven-year high of $ 82.18. Brent crude rose 0.58% to $ 84.50 a barrel, approaching a three-year high reached on Monday. [O/R]

Bitcoin is also testing multi-month highs, trading around $ 57,100 after hitting a five-month high of $ 58,550 on Thursday, with bitcoin bulls hinting at the possibility of it surpassing April’s all-time high of 64 $ 895.22 in the coming months.

Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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