By Chris Anstey and Adam Haigh
Shares in South Korea lead gains, Japan’s Topix index climbs
Offshore yuan holding gains on China stimulus, trade hopes
Asian stocks built on the best weekly rally since September, stoked by hopes for trade talks and China stimulus. That offset underwhelming news from Apple Inc. that weighed on Nasdaq futures.
South Korean stocks led the advance, and along with rising Japanese shares took this week’s rally close to 3 percent. Gains came after a phone call between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping showed the door is still open for U.S.-China trade talks. Australian equities slipped. Apple stoked concerns by saying it will stop reporting unit sales of its top product, sending its stock tumbling after hours. Ten-year Treasury yields edged higher ahead of Friday’s key U.S. jobs report.
Prospects for easing tensions between leaders of the world’s two largest economies are helping round out a week that’s seen appetite for risk assets return following the October rout in equities. Doubts remain, though, on the capacity of earnings to deliver. Apple’s disappointing forecast for the key holiday period suggested weaker-than-expected demand for the company’s pricier new iPhones. Its shares fell more than 6 percent in after-hours trading. Before the closing bell on Wall Street, more positive earnings results had helped boost sentiment, to leave the turmoil of October behind for the moment.
In Europe Thursday, the Stoxx 600 Index advanced, with telecoms and travel companies helping lead the way. While strong results from the likes of ING Groep NV helped buoy sentiment, not all the news was positive, with Royal Dutch Shell Plc declining after profit fell short of expectations. The pound held most of Thursday’s gain, the biggest since April 2017, which was driven by signals of faster interest-rate hikes and hopes for a Brexit deal.
Elsewhere, Oil prices held losses after tumbling again in New York Thursday, alleviating pressure on importers such as India.
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Here are some key events to come on Friday:
- Australian retail sales are due.
- The final U.S. jobs report before next Tuesday’s congressional elections may show that hiring improved and that the unemployment rate held at a 48-year low.
And these are the main moves in markets:
- Japan’s Topix index rose 0.6 percent as of 9:10 a.m. in Tokyo.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slid 0.1 percent.
- South Korea’s Kospi index surged 1.5 percent.
- Futures on the FTSE China A50 surged 2.9 percent earlier.
- Futures on the Hang Seng Index rose 2.1 percent earlier.
- The S&P 500 Index increased 1.1 percent, capping a three-day surge of almost 4 percent. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 1.8 percent. Futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.2 percent, while Nasdaq futures declined 0.8 percent.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 Index gained 0.4 percent.
- The yen slipped 0.1 percent to 112.79 per dollar.
- The offshore yuan slipped 0.1 percent to 6.9231 per dollar after advancing more than 0.8 percent Thursday.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index sank 0.8 percent Thursday, the steepest slide since March, taking it down from its strongest levels since last year.
- The euro was flat Friday after jumping 0.9 percent Thursday, and traded at $1.1402.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 3.14 percent, extending gains for the week.
- Australian 10-year yields advanced about 3 basis points, to 2.67 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude slid 0.1 percent to $63.61 a barrel.
- Gold was flat at $1,232.65 an ounce, little changed on the week