Sydney: Stocks in Asia got some reprieve from the recent sell-off after a modest rebound in technology and energy shares underpinned gains in U.S. equities. The dollar slipped and Treasuries steadied as debate about the Federal Reserve softening its stance on raising interest rates gathered pace. Equity benchmarks nudged higher in Japan and Australia, while futures pointed to gains in Hong Kong after most major U.S. equity benchmarks closed higher in light pre-Thanksgiving trading. Energy shares outperformed after crude oil rebounded from a one-year low, though Apple Inc. surrendered an early rise to close down for a third straight day.
The dollar remained under pressure as MNI reported the Federal Reserve is considering ending a cycle of interest rate hikes as early as the spring and U.S. data showed a decline in durable goods orders and rise in filings for unemployment benefits.
Investor sentiment remains fragile following the volatility that’s rocked markets since October, wiping out equity gains for the year. Traders are having to contend with the Trump Administration’s trade war, as well as the president’s calls for the Fed to back off from raising rates with corporate credit spreads at two-year highs.
Elsewhere, emerging-market shares climbed, and an index tracking developing-nation currencies reached the highest since August. Bitcoin steadied after a recent sell-off. Banks and telecommunications companies led an advance in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index, while the euro gained and Italian bonds firmed on reports Italy’s government may be open to budget revisions as the European Union took a first step toward imposing fines on the country.
Japan’s Topix index rose 0.3 percent as of 9:06 a.m. in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.4 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index contracts climbed 0.9 percent. S&P 500 futures rose were little changed. The S&P 500 rose 0.3 percent and the Nasdaq 100 gained 0.8 percent.
The Japanese yen was steady at 113.02 per dollar. The offshore yuan traded at 6.9281 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index ticked lower. The euro was at $1.1389. The British pound traded at $1.2775.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 3.06 percent. Australia’s 10-year bond yield was steady at 2.68 percent.
West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $54.60 a barrel. It jumped 2.3 percent Wednesday, the largest gain in seven weeks. Gold held at $1,225.72 an ounce.