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Asia Market Update

Stock markets in Asia posted broad gains Friday morning as Hong Kong’s benchmark index briefly reached its best level in a decade and Japan’s Nikkei moved closer to levels last seen in 1996.

The latest leg higher for stock markets, including new records in the U.S., has been helped by fresh comments from central bankers interpreted in support of a December interest-rate increase. Fed-fund futures now show a 87% probability of an increase then, versus 78% on Tuesday, according to CME Group data.

The comments helped push the dollar higher on Thursday, giving a fresh lift to equities globally.

For Asia, “mild gains remains in sight given the abundance of positive leads,” said Pan.

Leading the way in Asia Pacific on Friday was Australia, which has been lagging both recent gains and the advances seen elsewhere for much of this year. The S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.91%  rose 0.7%, helped by overnight gains in commodity prices, a key segment for the country’s economy. The index through Thursday had fallen for three straight sessions, putting it down 0.2% for the year.

Australian bank stocks rose, rising more than 1%. Meanwhile, Japan’s Topix bank subindex was up 1.3%. The U.S. rate outlook is important for Asian financial companies as their margins have been under pressure in the current low-rate environment.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.36%  has been the star this year with a 29% jump. It rose a further 0.5% just after the open following a holiday on Thursday, resulting in the index finally, albeit briefly, topping 2015’s high and putting it at levels not seen since 2007’s record highs.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average NIK, +0.30% rose 0.2% to set another 26-month high, helped by the dollar rising to ¥112.80 from an overnight low of around ¥112.40. Stock indexes in New Zealand NZ50GR, +0.03%   and the Philippines PSE, +0.59%  were on pace for more record closing highs Friday.

The stock buying has come as trading volume across asset classes remains muted with markets in China and South Korea still closed for public holidays on Friday and as some investors await the U.S. jobs report. But that release will be affected by recent hurricanes, so some investors will discount the report’s readings for September.

Commodity prices were down slightly in Asia amid the dollar’s fresh gains. That included oil edging 0.1% lower after rising some 2% overnight, reversing some of its recent pullback.

Source:marketwatch.com

Stock markets in Asia posted broad gains Friday morning as Hong Kong’s benchmark index briefly reached its best level in a decade and Japan’s Nikkei moved closer to levels last seen in 1996.

The latest leg higher for stock markets, including new records in the U.S., has been helped by fresh comments from central bankers interpreted in support of a December interest-rate increase. Fed-fund futures now show a 87% probability of an increase then, versus 78% on Tuesday, according to CME Group data.

The comments helped push the dollar higher on Thursday, giving a fresh lift to equities globally.

For Asia, “mild gains remains in sight given the abundance of positive leads,” said Pan.

Leading the way in Asia Pacific on Friday was Australia, which has been lagging both recent gains and the advances seen elsewhere for much of this year. The S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.91%  rose 0.7%, helped by overnight gains in commodity prices, a key segment for the country’s economy. The index through Thursday had fallen for three straight sessions, putting it down 0.2% for the year.

Australian bank stocks rose, rising more than 1%. Meanwhile, Japan’s Topix bank subindex was up 1.3%. The U.S. rate outlook is important for Asian financial companies as their margins have been under pressure in the current low-rate environment.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.36%  has been the star this year with a 29% jump. It rose a further 0.5% just after the open following a holiday on Thursday, resulting in the index finally, albeit briefly, topping 2015’s high and putting it at levels not seen since 2007’s record highs.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average NIK, +0.30% rose 0.2% to set another 26-month high, helped by the dollar rising to ¥112.80 from an overnight low of around ¥112.40. Stock indexes in New Zealand NZ50GR, +0.03%   and the Philippines PSE, +0.59%  were on pace for more record closing highs Friday.

The stock buying has come as trading volume across asset classes remains muted with markets in China and South Korea still closed for public holidays on Friday and as some investors await the U.S. jobs report. But that release will be affected by recent hurricanes, so some investors will discount the report’s readings for September.

Commodity prices were down slightly in Asia amid the dollar’s fresh gains. That included oil edging 0.1% lower after rising some 2% overnight, reversing some of its recent pullback.

Source:marketwatch.com

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