Stocks in Asia started the month on a positive note, trading near all-time highs, with technology shares and a weakening yen underpinned a rally in Japan. New Zealand’s dollar jumped as jobs data topped estimates.
Shares advanced from Tokyo to Sydney. Electronics makers helped boost the Topix index, which had its best month in almost a year in October. Sony Corp. surged after it raised its annual operating profit outlook to a record. The S&P 500 Index rounded out its strongest month since February overnight. U.S. equity-index futures rose with the dollar on optimism U.S. tax reforms are still on track. Nickel climbed to the highest in more than two years.
Also in focus is the Federal Reserve, which is expected to keep rates on hold Wednesday while signaling an all-clear for a December hike. An announcement on who will helm the U.S. central bank is due by the end of the week.
Bitcoin soared to a record after CME Group, the world’s biggest exchange operator, said it plans to launch futures trading on the cryptocurrency by year-end.
A reading on the health of Chinese manufacturing that gives greater weight to smaller and private firms came in right on estimates. The Caixin PMI held at 51, compared with a weaker-than-expected performance from the official measure out earlier this week.
U.S. President Donald Trump signaled he’ll name a new Fed chair Thursday. One potential threat to the markets’ risk-on mood could come from the unfolding investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian interests after the first indictments from Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos claimed campaign officials approved a pre-election meeting with Russian representatives. Politico reported that House Republicans are postponing the release of the tax bill to Thursday.
Terminal users can read more in our Markets Live blog.
Here are some other key upcoming events this week:
- The U.S. October payroll report comes out Friday.
- Trump starts an 11-day trip to Asia, his first as president, on Friday. Trade and security issues — particularly North Korea — will probably be in focus.
- A probable Bank of England rate hike on Thursday will be the first in a decade.
- The slew of earnings releases will culminate with Apple Inc. results.
And these are the main moves in markets:
- Japan’s Topix climbed 0.9 percent and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average jumped 1.3 percent as of 10:30 a.m. in Tokyo. Sony soared 11 percent, the biggest advance in more than nine years.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.7 percent.
- South Korea’s Kospi index was up 1 percent. While export data missed estimates, the latest data showed they continue to motor ahead.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.4 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index advanced.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index added 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge rose 0.1 percent on Tuesday.
- The yen fell 0.3 percent to 113.92, having slipped 0.4 percent on Tuesday.
- The kiwi bought 68.90 U.S. cents, up 0.6 percent.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index climbed 0.1 percent.
- The euro was at $1.1633.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries added one basis point to 2.39 percent.
- Australia’s 10-year government bond yield rose three basis points to 2.70 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.5 percent to $54.66 a barrel.
- Gold lost 0.2 percent to $1,269.09 an ounce.
- Nickel on the LME jumped to the strongest since June 2015, advancing as much as 3.9 percent and was up 1.9 percent at 12,530 a ton.