Asia Stocks Rally as Nikkei Tops 20,000; Yen Slips: Markets Wrap
Japan leads Asian equities after fresh record for S&P 500
All eyes now turn to monthly U.S. jobs report on Friday
Asian stocks rallied, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average topping 20,000 for the first time since 2015, as the yen weakened after private American hiring data bolstered confidence in the global economy.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index traded at the highest level in two years after the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at all-time highs. The dollar held on to gains triggered by a report showing companies added more workers to U.S. payrolls in May than forecast. The onshore yuan retreated after a four-day surge as China’s central bank kept its daily yuan fixing level little changed.
Global equities extended this year’s advance to more than 10 percent, setting a fresh record, as data showed growth in the world’s largest economy is intact. The Topix index has been among the biggest gainers this week among developed markets, with investors returning to Japanese stocks as corporate profits climb to a record while data reinforces views of a continuing moderate recovery.
Concerns over global markets remain, with U.S. inflation trailing expectations. With investors primed for an interest-rate increase at this month’s Federal Reserve meeting, all eyes will turn Friday to the latest U.S. hiring report.
Traders also continue to watch for upheaval from U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. Renewable energy stocks were mixed Friday as investors assessed the implications of Trump’s plan to withdraw from the Paris climate pact.
Here are some key upcoming events:
- The U.S. jobs report Friday may bolster the case for a rate increase, with a gain of 182,000 positions expected.
- Federal Reserve officials Patrick Harker and Robert Kaplan give speeches ahead of the so-called quiet period going into the central bank’s rate decision later this month.
- Data is due on Indonesia inflation as well as PMIs for Singapore and Indonesia.
Here are the main moves in markets:
- Japan’s Topix index rose 1.6 percent as of 2:39 p.m. in Tokyo, bringing its advance for the year to 6.1 percent. The Nikkei 225 climbed 1.8 percent to the highest since August 2015.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index and South Korea’s Kospi advanced more than 0.9 percent.
- The Shanghai Composite fell 0.1 percent, declining for a second day.
- Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent. The S&P 500, the Nasdaq Composite and Nasdaq 100 indexes each closed at fresh records on Thursday.
- The yen slid 0.3 percent to 111.68 per dollar, after falling 0.5 percent on Thursday.
- The onshore yuan slipped 0.1 percent, breaking a four-day rally. The offshore currency dropped 0.5 percent, the most since February. Propping up the yuan has been a policy priority this year as Chinese authorities try to stem capital outflows.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat, following a 0.2 percent advance in the previous session. The Aussie dollar gained 0.2 percent.
- The euro rose less than 0.1 percent while the British pound was flat.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 2.22 percent.
- Australian 10-year yields added two basis points to 2.41 percent.
- Gold slid 0.4 percent to $1,260.37 after dropping 0.2 percent on Thursday.
- WTI crude oil dropped 0.9 percent to $47.94 a barrel after adding 0.1 percent in the previous session. It’s on course to fall 3.7 percent this week.