Inside Financial Markets

Asian Stocks Gain, Dollar Weakens While Oil Slides

Asian equities rose and the dollar weakened at the start of an important week for global monetary policy settings, with central banks in Japan, the U.S. and the U.K. all meeting. Oil slid for a sixth straight day.

Tokyo shares extended the biggest rally in a month while South Korean equities rose to the highest since May 2015. Chinese stocks traded in Hong Kong rallied after officials gave an upbeat picture of the economy. The Australian dollar led gains against the U.S. currency, which fell against most major peers. Oil kept sliding below $50 as U.S. drillers continued to boost activity, countering OPEC’s efforts to drain a global glut.

“There’s some initial upside from the jobs report but most people are waiting and watching to see what the central banks say later in the week,” said Andrew Sullivan, managing director for sales trading at Haitong International Securities Group Ltd. in Hong Kong.

  • The Bank of Japan’s policy decision is due on Thursday. The BOJ is set to keep its rates and yield-curve policy unchanged. Still, recovering capital outlays and signs that consumer prices are inching up may augur for asset-purchase tapering sooner rather than later.
  • The Bank of England, Swiss National Bank and Bank Indonesia are also expected to stand pat with policy decisions this week.
  • The Netherlands’ election takes place March 15 amid a growing diplomatic spat with Turkey.
  • Earnings reports are due this week from firms including Oracle Corp., Tiffany & Co., and Prudential Plc.
  • G-20 finance ministers gather in Germany for a series of meetings.

Here are the main market moves:

Stocks

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.6 percent as of 12:14 p.m. in Tokyo.
  • Japan’s Topix rose 0.2 percent, after the gauge jumped 1.2 percent on Friday to the highest level since December 2015.
  • The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index added 1.4 percent. China’s macroeconomy stabilized in the beginning of 2017, Ning Jizhe, head of the National Bureau of Statistics, said at the sidelines of the annual legislature meeting in Beijing on Sunday.
  • South Korea’s Kospi jumped 1.1 percent, led by a 1.7 percent gain in Samsung Electronics Co.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 percent and New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index rose 0.4 percent.

Currencies

  • The Australian dollar advanced 0.4 percent, following Friday’s 0.5 percent gain.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell less than 0.1 percent, after dropping 0.6 percent on Friday. The yen was little changed at 114.82 per dollar.
  • The euro added 0.3 percent to $1.070, extending its 0.9 percent surge on Friday.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Australian government bonds slid three basis points to 2.95 percent, tracking a rally in Treasuries on Friday.
  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries climbed less than one basis point to 2.58 percent.
  • The Bank of Japan could consider adopting a range for its 10-year bond yield target when it eventually looks to increase rates or needs to manage market volatility, according to people with knowledge of discussions at the central bank.

Commodities

  • Oil dropped 0.9 percent to $48.08 a barrel. Crude has lost almost 10 percent over the past six days.

Baqar Hussain

A Wannabe CFO, just had stepped in the corporate sector, willing to explore every aspect here and learn as mush as i can, awareness for those who dont, get the info where ever possible and stay up to date always.

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