Asian Stocks to Rise Thanks to Stronger US Stocks, Vaccine Expected


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Asian markets will open higher on Friday after US stocks rose as investors weighed the outlook for economic growth and inflation and welcomed advances in vaccine launches.

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians and a stop sign at a traffic light are reflected on a listing board in Tokyo, Japan, on February 26, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon

“Market sentiment remains quite optimistic and volatility, by post-pandemic standards, is remarkably low,” said IG Markets analyst Kyle Rodda.

“At this time, and indeed this could be a complacency level, the week’s stock turmoil has been taken in stride.

Australian S & P / ASX 200 Futures rose 0.30% in early trading, while MSCI’s Worldwide Stocks indicator gained 0.14%.

Emerging market stocks lost 0.77%. MSCI’s broader Asia Pacific equity index outside of Japan closed 0.55% lower, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures were down 0.02%.

The Nikkei 225 Index closed the evening session up 1.14% at 28,729.88. The futures contract has risen 0.52% since that close. Hong Kong Hang Seng Index futures rose 0.37%.

Data from the US Department of Labor showed that claims for unemployment benefits fell to a one-year low last week, a sign that the US economy is on the verge of stronger growth at As the public health situation improves and temperatures rise.

In his first formal press conference, United States President Joe Biden said he would double down on his administration’s vaccine implementation plan after hitting the previous goal of 100 million injections 42 days ahead of schedule.

On Wall Street, stocks closely tied to an economic recovery led the rally, while some continued weakness between high-growth stocks and energy company stocks kept the S&P 500 and other major indices from rising significantly.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 199.42 points, or 0.62%, to 32,619.48, the S&P 500 gained 20.38 points, or 0.52%, to 3,909.52 and the Nasdaq Composite added 15.79 points , or 0.12%, at 12,977.68.

Oil collapsed after a surge a day earlier when a container ship got stuck in the Suez Canal. The ship can block the vital shipping lane for weeks.

US crude was last down 0.09% at $ 58.51 a barrel and Brent was down at $ 61.84, down 3.99% on the day.

The weight of sentiment was a sell-off of Chinese tech stocks amid concerns that they will be delisted from US exchanges over concerns about a semiconductor shortage.

Shares of Nike Inc fell 3.4% as the sporting goods giant faced backlash on Chinese social media for its comments on reports of forced labor in Xinjiang.

The dollar index reached its highest level since November overnight, at 92.697, breaking its 200-day moving average.

The dollar index was up 0.265%, and the euro was up 0.05% at $ 1.177.

“The dollar is absolutely critical,” said James Athey, chief investment officer at Aberdeen Standard Investments. “If the dollar starts to recover, that becomes a problem. It signifies commodity and emerging market weakness and begins to provide a counter-inflationary narrative. “

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose in price to yield 1.6332%, from 1.614% late Thursday.

Spot gold added 0.1% to $ 1,727.73 an ounce.

Reporting by Katanga Johnson; Richard Pullin edition

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