Asian Stocks Climb After US Gain on Rates Optimism: Markets Wrap

Asian stocks rose in early trading, following Wall Street’s gains on optimism the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates this year. The yen dropped.

Bloomberg
Published7 May 2024, 06:25 AM IST
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Asian Stocks Climb After US Gain on Rates Optimism: Markets Wrap
Asian Stocks Climb After US Gain on Rates Optimism: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks rose in early trading, following Wall Street’s gains on optimism the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates this year. The yen dropped. 

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 climbed as much as 1.6% as the market reopened on Tuesday after a holiday. Australian shares rose 0.7%. The upward momentum came after the S&P 500 rose 1% and topped its average price over the past 50 days — a level seen by many chartists as key in maintaining the positive sentiment.

The yen fell after Japan’s top currency official Masato Kanda said that while authorities would take action in the event of volatility, there was no need for the government to intervene if the market is functioning properly.

Oil rose 0.5% in early Asia trading, while US stock futures were steady after Israel rejected a statement from Hamas that it had accepted a cease-fire proposal to end the fighting in Gaza.

The US equity benchmark rose above 5,180 on Monday. Nvidia Corp. and Tesla Inc. paced gains in megacaps. Micron Technology Inc. jumped on an analyst upgrade. Apple Inc. fell, with Warren Buffett revealing he’d cut his stake even after heaping praise on the iPhone maker. Treasury 10-year yields slid two basis points to 4.49%.

“Bulls will be looking to maintain their momentum after snatching last week from the jaws of bears,” according to Chris Larkin at E*Trade from Morgan Stanley. “This week is light on high-profile economic data, but heavy on Fed members hitting the speaking circuit. Traders will be dissecting any comments they make about potential rate cuts.”

Read: Fed Says More Banks Tightened Loan Standards to Start 2024

In Asia, there’s renewed optimism for the bruised Chinese economy, with Beijing’s latest supportive policy stance helping to boost shares and the onshore yuan on their return from holiday on Monday. Battered assets are getting a second look as a combination of earnings recovery, policy support and cheap valuations lure investors.

Australia’s central bank is expected to keep its key interest rate on hold Tuesday, while reinstating a hawkish bias to acknowledge sticky consumer prices.

In the US on Monday, investors waded through remarks from some of the many Fed officials due to speak this week.

Fed Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin said he expects high rates to slow the economy further and cool inflation to the 2% target. His New York counterpart John Williams said eventually there will be rate cuts — but the decision on when will depend on the totality of the data.

More than 80% of the S&P 500 companies have now reported first-quarter earnings, and profit growth has easily surpassed “mediocre expectations,” according to Gina Martin Adams at Bloomberg Intelligence. The index is now on pace for a 6.5% earnings growth, almost double pre-season estimates of 3.75%, she noted.

The backdrop for stocks remains supportive, driven by healthy and broadening profit growth, inflation that will likely resume falling, a Fed that is more likely to cut than hike rates, and surging investment in artificial intelligence, according to David Lefkowitz at UBS Global Wealth Management.

A soft landing or a so-called no landing, where growth is resilient even as rates stay high, both remain possible for the US economy, the team led by Michael Wilson wrote in a note. This uncertain backdrop warrants an investment approach that can work as market pricing and leadership between groups of stocks gets whipsawed by the potential outcomes.

Corporate Highlights:

Key events this week:

Stocks

Currencies

Cryptocurrencies

Bonds

Commodities

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com

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$13 B

26%

4.47 M

70%

18

₹70,936 Cr

58

100

$81 M

₹3,000 Cr

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First Published:7 May 2024, 06:25 AM IST
HomeMarketsStock MarketsAsian Stocks Climb After US Gain on Rates Optimism: Markets Wrap

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