Asian stocks climbed, with many of the region’s equity markets rallying after holidays as investors focused on stronger corporate earnings. The yen maintained losses while copper rose with the Aussie.
Investors are focusing on earnings that have helped power global stocks to a record, with tech shares outperforming. Equities have also rallied since Emmanuel Macron emerged as the front-runner over Marine Le Pen in the French presidential race. A tentative deal by the U.S. Congress to avert a government shutdown eliminated another concern this week, while worries about North Korea have lessened. U.S. President Donald Trump said that if the circumstances were right, he would meet with leader Kim Jong Un.
Despite recent drops in volatility gauges, markets are still subject to jolts. Stocks were whipsawed during the U.S. session after Trump suggested reintroducing rules that keep commercial and investment banking operations separate, triggering a brief slide in bank shares. China data continue to add to concerns about the strength of the global economy, with a gauge of April manufacturing falling below estimates. That comes after a weaker-than-expected GDP report from the U.S., and ahead of Friday’s key monthly American jobs report.
Here are the key events and data releases due this week:
- The RBA decides on monetary policy at 2:30 p.m. in Sydney. The benchmark interest rate will remain unchanged at 1.5 percent for a ninth month, traders and economists predict, after data last week showed quickening inflation.
- Investors will be watching comments from a policy meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee Wednesday.
- The monthly U.S. government jobs report is due Friday.
- Voters in France go to the polls on Sunday for the second round of presidential elections.
- Companies including BP Plc and Apple Inc. are among those due to report earnings Tuesday. Coming up this week are results from BNP Paribas SA, Facebook Inc., HSBC Holdings Plc, Time Warner Inc., Pfizer Inc., Merck & Co., BMW AG, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Volkswagen AG.
Here are the main moves in markets:
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index added 0.5 percent as of 12:53 p.m. in Tokyo. The Topix index rose 0.7 percent, climbing for a second day to the highest since March. Tokyo markets will be closed for holidays over the next three days.
- South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.8 percent, at one point climbing above its all-time closing high reached on May 2, 2011.
- The Hang Seng rose 0.3 percent and Singapore’s Straits Times Index added 0.9 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.2 percent, following four straight days of gains.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slipped 0.6 percent, breaking a seven-day rally, as banks declined. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. lost 2.5 percent after missing first-half profit estimates.
- The yen slid less than 0.1 percent to 111.87 per dollar, following a 0.3 percent slide on Monday.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.1 percent.
- The Australian dollar climbed 0.2 percent, advancing for a third day.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries was flat after jumping four basis points to 2.32 percent Monday, its first advance after three straight declines.
- The yield on Australian government debt with a similar maturity rose three basis points to 2.61 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.2 percent to $48.75, after dropping 1 percent Monday as Libyan output surged, more rigs were added in the U.S. and Saudi Arabia cut prices to Asian customers.
- Copper on the London Metals Exchange rose 0.7 percent.