Singapore: Asian stocks edged higher on 3 May after takeover activity, strong profits and the bellwether Dow Jones industrials’ rise to a fresh record reinforced the view that the global equity rally can go further.
But the market’s taste for riskier stocks left the yen languishing near recent lows.
“Global economic growth is strong, if not actually accelerating again, so it’s no surprise that the appetite for risk is still healthy,” said John Kyriakopoulos, a currency strategist at nabCapital.
Trade was thin with Japanese and Chinese financial markets closed for public holidays on 3 May and 4 May. Investors were turning their attention to data on the giant US service sector to provide fresh clues on Friday’s payrolls report.
By 0209 GMT the MSCI’s measure of Asia Pacific stocks excluding Japan climbed 0.6%, extending Wednesday’s 0.75% rise.
The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) rose 0.4%, adding to a 6% rise last month, during which it set a string of records.
Taiwan’s TAIEX share index added 0.6%, boosted by a gain in UMC after the chip heavyweight forecast a rise in second-quarter sales and shipments.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index recovered from an earlier wobble to post a 0.1% increase as gains in miners, such as Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton offset weakness in the bank sector.
Stocks in Asia were boosted by a strong performance on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones industrial average gained 0.6% to hit a record high and the broader S&P 500 rose 0.7% to its highest level in more than six years.