Asian stocks advanced and the dollar clung to declines after Federal Reserve officials reignited the debate on the timing of further policy tightening.
China shares traded in Hong Kong rallied while stocks in South Korea headed toward the highest close in almost six years. Japan’s Topix index pared losses after a holiday. Yields on Australian 10-year government bonds tracked Monday’s losses in Treasury rates. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after four straight days of losses. Oil regained some of its declines from the previous session while gold fell.
The U.S. Federal Reserve could raise interest rates two, three or four times this year, said Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, though his Minneapolis colleague Neel Kashkari argued that there was no need to rush. In France, presidential candidates squared off in a TV debate Monday night ahead of the upcoming closely watched election.
- U.K. inflation may have edged above the 2 percent target in February and retail sales probably rose, data may show Tuesday.
- March PMI for France is due Friday, along with final fourth-quarter GDP figures.
- There’s a torrent of Fed speakers this week, headlined by Janet Yellen on March 23.
- There are central bank policy decisions in New Zealand, Philippines and Sri Lanka.
- Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will host trade talks with the European Union on Tuesday.
Here are the main moves in markets:
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell less than 0.1 percent as of 11:32 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge fell in the previous four sessions, the longest losing streak since November.
- The Taiwanese dollar and the South Korean won rose at least 0.3 percent. The yen traded at 112.62 per dollar, down 0.1 percent.
- South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1 percent, poised for the highest close since July 2011. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index climbed 0.7 percent to the highest since November 2015.
- Japan’s Topix index declined 0.1 percent, trimming an earlier loss of as much as 0.6 percent.
- New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index added 0.4 percent, recovering some of Monday’s 1.4 percent decline.
- Futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.2 percent. The benchmark gauge and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index both fell 0.2 percent on Monday.
- The yield on 10-year Australian government bonds fell two basis points to 2.80 percent.
- Treasury yields with a similar maturity added 1 basis point to 2.47 percent after losing four basis points on Monday.
- Gold dropped 0.4 percent to $1,229.05 an ounce, after four days of gains.
- Oil climbed 0.4 percent to $48.40. WTI slumped 1.2 percent in the previous session.