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Asia Market Update

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Equity markets in Asia extended their gains on Thursday, taking cues from fresh overnight records set by key U.S. indexes as the earnings season kicks off.

Strong earnings growth has supported major stock indexes this year, and some analysts said they expect third-quarter results to continue to outperform expectations. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve signaled its confidence that the U.S. economy was strong enough to support further rate increases.

“The Fed minutes indicated a positive outlook on the U.S. economy. That augurs well for global growth.” 

Minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting, released Wednesday, showed most officials expect the central bank to raise short-term interest rates again this year. That helped alleviate signs of rate uncertainty in the market.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average NIK, +0.43% rose 0.5%, after closing at a 21-year high on Wednesday. The market’s strength came despite overnight appreciation in the yen, which usually weighs on export-related stocks.

The U.S. dollar JPYUSD, +0.188814%  last bought ¥112.38, compared with ¥112.48 yen at the end of Wednesday trade in New York.

Technology shares led gains in Japan, with SoftBank 9984, +3.60%  rising 3.7% and Line 3938, +0.37% adding 1.3%. But energy stocks weakened, with Inpex 1605, -1.62%  falling 1.8% and Japan Petroleum 1662, -1.07% shedding 0.8% following a drop in oil prices after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed U.S. crude inventories rose last week.

Although the API report showed U.S. oil inventories rose last week, analysts polled in a Wall Street Journal survey said they expect data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration due later Thursday to show a decline.

Oil futures in Asia were down about 0.6% in morning trade.

Elsewhere in the region, Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.56% added 0.2% to Wednesday’s record close, while Singapore’s Straits Times Index STI, +0.73% was up 0.6% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.39% rose 0.2%.

Technology stocks also helped Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, +0.65% rise 0.4% in early trade, with key Apple suppliers leading gains. Largan Precision 3008, +3.60% was up 1.7%, while Hon Hai 2317, +1.40% rose 0.9% and Taiwan Semiconductor 2330, +1.72% added 1.5%.

The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -0.20% bucked broad gains the region, falling 0.2% as traders await new policy initiatives from the Communist Party Congress, which starts next week.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.45% was slightly lower in morning trade, reversing early gains and adding to Wednesday’s declines.

Source: marketwatch.com

Equity markets in Asia extended their gains on Thursday, taking cues from fresh overnight records set by key U.S. indexes as the earnings season kicks off.

Strong earnings growth has supported major stock indexes this year, and some analysts said they expect third-quarter results to continue to outperform expectations. Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve signaled its confidence that the U.S. economy was strong enough to support further rate increases.

“The Fed minutes indicated a positive outlook on the U.S. economy. That augurs well for global growth.” 

Minutes from the Fed’s latest policy meeting, released Wednesday, showed most officials expect the central bank to raise short-term interest rates again this year. That helped alleviate signs of rate uncertainty in the market.

Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average NIK, +0.43% rose 0.5%, after closing at a 21-year high on Wednesday. The market’s strength came despite overnight appreciation in the yen, which usually weighs on export-related stocks.

The U.S. dollar JPYUSD, +0.188814%  last bought ¥112.38, compared with ¥112.48 yen at the end of Wednesday trade in New York.

Technology shares led gains in Japan, with SoftBank 9984, +3.60%  rising 3.7% and Line 3938, +0.37% adding 1.3%. But energy stocks weakened, with Inpex 1605, -1.62%  falling 1.8% and Japan Petroleum 1662, -1.07% shedding 0.8% following a drop in oil prices after data from the American Petroleum Institute showed U.S. crude inventories rose last week.

Although the API report showed U.S. oil inventories rose last week, analysts polled in a Wall Street Journal survey said they expect data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration due later Thursday to show a decline.

Oil futures in Asia were down about 0.6% in morning trade.

Elsewhere in the region, Korea’s Kospi SEU, +0.56% added 0.2% to Wednesday’s record close, while Singapore’s Straits Times Index STI, +0.73% was up 0.6% and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO, +0.39% rose 0.2%.

Technology stocks also helped Taiwan’s Taiex Y9999, +0.65% rise 0.4% in early trade, with key Apple suppliers leading gains. Largan Precision 3008, +3.60% was up 1.7%, while Hon Hai 2317, +1.40% rose 0.9% and Taiwan Semiconductor 2330, +1.72% added 1.5%.

The Shanghai Composite Index SHCOMP, -0.20% bucked broad gains the region, falling 0.2% as traders await new policy initiatives from the Communist Party Congress, which starts next week.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.45% was slightly lower in morning trade, reversing early gains and adding to Wednesday’s declines.

Source: marketwatch.com

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