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Shares opened higher in Australia, while futures rose in Japan and Hong Kong (AP)
Shares opened higher in Australia, while futures rose in Japan and Hong Kong (AP)

Global stock gains build on economic optimism

  • Treasuries dipped after the U.S. announced plans for a new 20-year bond
  • Shares rose more modestly in Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney, while gains fizzled in Hong Kong

Asian stocks edged up Friday, with the global record-setting rally showing little sign of letting up following signs of strong American consumer demand and an improving Chinese economy.

Treasuries dipped after the U.S. announced plans for a new 20-year bond. Equities climbed in Shanghai as data showed Chinese industrial output topped estimates. Shares rose more modestly in Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney, while gains fizzled in Hong Kong. Futures on the S&P 500 were flat after the gauge on Thursday climbed to a fresh all-time high, when U.S. retail sales strengthened in December. Technology shares advanced and Alphabet Inc.’s market valuation hit $1 trillion for the first time.

With an initial trade deal between the U.S. and China now signed and investor optimism over easing tensions helping drive global equities to record highs, attention is turning to corporate and economic data. China GDP was in line with estimates, along with a robust showing for key monthly data for December. Meantime, South Korea’s central bank governor said sluggishness in his economy had eased somewhat. The earnings season continues to ramp up with the likes of Procter & Gamble Co. and Intel Corp. reporting next week.

“The IP number is quite telling because more broadly it speaks to the bottoming out in the global industrial production cycle, which we’ve been looking for and the market’s been looking for for the last six to nine months," John Woods, chief investment officer for the Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse, told Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong. This suggests “the global economy is on a recovering path."

Treasuries slipped as the Treasury said it will start issuing 20-year debt in the first half of 2020 as its expands its roster of securities. The yield on Taiwanese government debt fell to a record low as President Tsai Ing-wen’s incentives to invest at home continue to attract flows. Meantime, crude oil edged higher, while gold was steady above $1,500 an ounce.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

Futures on the S&P 500 Index added 0.1% as of 1:31 p.m. in Tokyo. The underlying gauge rose 0.8% on Thursday.

Japan’s Topix index gained 0.4%.

The Shanghai Composite rose 0.5%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was flat after rising as much as 0.8%

South Korea’s Kospi index climbed 0.3%.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.5%.

Currencies

The yen was flat at 110.19 per dollar.

The offshore yuan rose 0.1% to 6.8692 per dollar.

The euro bought $1.1143, little changed.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 1.82%.

Australia’s 10-year yield remained at 1.18%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude oil was flat at $58.52 a barrel.

Gold added 0.1% to $1,553.87 an ounce.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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