Asia kept a global equities rally going, with stocks in Tokyo and South Korea advancing after the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed past 20,000 for the first time. Bonds and gold were steady after a selloff while the yen fluctuated.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed to the highest level since September as U.S. corporate earnings reignited investor optimism in economic growth. Japan’s Topix jumped more than 1 percent for a second day, led by financial shares, while the nation’s currency swung between gains and losses. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was steady after topping 2.50 percent on Wednesday. Gold rose after a two-day drop, and oil climbed back above $53 a barrel.
While corporate earnings bolster the bullish sentiment toward equities, investors are also encouraged by early signs of U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies. He has taken steps to fulfill pro-growth campaign promises, including identifying possible infrastructure projects, approving two oil pipelines and cajoling American carmakers into building plants in the U.S. The improved sentiment comes after traders this month began to seek haven assets amid concern that gains after Trump’s election had gone too far.
“The U.S. economy is doing well, corporate earnings are good and it looks like Mr. Trump’s policies will keep improving the economy,” said Mitsushige Akino, an executive officer at Ichiyoshi Investment Management Co. in Tokyo. “With bond yields increasing, we’re seeing gradual moves from bonds to risk assets.”
Australian and Indian markets are closed Thursday for holidays.
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Here are the main moves in markets:
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.9 percent as of 9:38 a.m. in Tokyo, climbing for a second day and reaching the highest since Sept. 22. The Topix jumped 1.3 percent, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. leading gains among financial stocks. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.2 percent, and New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 index advanced 0.3 percent. The Dow rose 155.12 points to 20,067.83. The rise from 19,000 was the second-fastest 1,000-point run in the measure’s history. It’s up 9.5 percent since Trump’s election. The S&P 500 Index jumped 0.7 percent to a record. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index jumped 1.3 percent, while Germany’s DAX rose to the highest level since May.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury was little changed, after jumping five basis points to 2.51 percent on Wednesday, the highest level of the year. The yield on the benchmark Bund due in a decade rose six basis points to 0.46 percent, the highest level in a year.
The yen rose 0.1 percent to 113.16 per dollar, after climbing 0.5 percent on Wednesday. The dollar was lower against most Group of 10 currencies. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell less than 0.1 percent after reaching the lowest level since November on Wednesday. The currency is poised for a fifth straight weekly decline.
Gold added 0.1 percent to $1,202.14 an ounce, after dropping 1.4 percent over the previous two sessions as optimism around corporate earnings fueled risk appetite. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.5 percent to $53.03, after losing 0.8 percent on Wednesday as a U.S. government report showed crude and fuel inventories increased. (dan)
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