Stocks in Asia climbed after data fueled confidence in the U.S. economy, and as equity traders in Tokyo returned from holidays with the yen nursing a four-day slump.
Japanese equities were set for the biggest gain in two months with the Topix index climbing more than 2 percent on its first trading day of 2017. Chinese shares climbed for a third day, while Australian and South Korean shares were flat and Hong Kong equities declined. The S&P 500 Index posted its biggest climb in four weeks and the dollar extended gains as U.S. manufacturing grew. Oil recouped some of Tuesday’s slump ahead of U.S. stockpile data.
A global equity rally has extended into the new year as data from the U.S., China and Europe boosted optimism for growth. Traders look to be shrugging off doomsayers such as former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, who warned that President-elect Donald Trump’s policies might have unintended consequences for the world’s largest economy, and analysts at Eurasia Group who said that America’s 45th president could contribute to a level of global instability not seen since World War II.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was up 1 percent as of 1:13 p.m. Tokyo time. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.4 percent.
- The Hang Seng Index fell 0.1 percent, while India’s S&P BSE Sensex added 0.2 percent.
- New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 1.4 percent, with Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was up less than 0.1 percent.
- S&P 500 Index futures rose 0.1 percent after the underlying index Tuesday added 0.9 percent to 2,257.83. The index advanced 9.5 percent in 2016.
- Japan’s Topix index and Nikkei 225 Stock Average both gained at least 2.3 percent, the best first day of trading since 2013. The Topix lost 1.9 percent in 2016, its first annual loss in five years.
- The U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.1 percent, near its highest level since December 2002.
- The yen traded at 118.01 per dollar, down 0.2 percent.
- South Korea’s won slid 0.2 percent.
- The Aussie gained 0.3 percent to 72.38 U.S. cents.
- Crude oil rose 0.7 percent following its 2.6 percent slide to close at $52.33 a barrel in New York after touching the highest level since July 6, 2015, at more than $55. Futures rose 45 percent last year.
- Gold was up 0.2 percent after jumping 1 percent in New York Tuesday.