Asian stocks climb, laudable firmed pre-Brexit talks

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SINGAPORE: Asian stocks climbed on Monday, throwing off Wall Street’s gloomy performance on Friday, and sterling was firmed after a van pounded into worshippers leaving a London mosque, killing at least one person, as markets braced for the start of Brexit talks.

European stock markets were set for a strong begin to the week, with financial spread better CMC Markets expecting Britain’s FTSE 100 .FTSE to open 0.6 percent higher, France’s CAC 40 .FCHI to be up 0.3 percent and Germany’s DAX .GDAXI 0.2 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.7 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei .N225 climbed 0.6 percent.

Australian shares added 0.3 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI .KS11 rose 0.4 percent.

Chinese blue-chip shares .CSI300 advanced 0.8 percent on signs strict liquidity conditions were easing. Data showing home prices rose 10.4 percent in May from a year ago, although slowing from April’s 10.7 percent gain, helped increasing real estate stocks.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng .HSI gained 0.9 percent.

Head of Asia research at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in Singapore, Khoon Goh said, “Generally, the environment still remains fairly positive for risk appetite.”

He further added, “Now that the (Federal Reserve interest rate decision) is out of the way, the focus, for this region anyway, will remain on whether the economic environment will stay positive and the recovery will continue.”

On Friday, Wall Street ended mixed, with energy names offsetting declines in consumer stocks, which were smeared by’s $13.7 billion deal to buy upscale grocer Whole Foods Market.

The S&P 500 index .SPX closed flat, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI ended up 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq .IXIC lost 0.2 percent.

Closing higher, Europe had a more upbeat session on Friday, with British .FTSE, German .GDAXI and French .FCHI stocks, as well as the broader STOXX Europe 600.

The British pound GBP=D3 was flat at $1.2777 after a van striked into worshippers as they were leaving a Finsbury Park mosque in North London early on Monday.

Davis’s agreement to Monday’s agenda led some EU officials to believe that May’s government may at last be coming around to Brussels’ view of how conference should be run for Britain’s exit from the EU. May’s own immediate political survival is in doubt after she lost her parliamentary majority in an election.

Projections showing a strong parliamentary majority for French President Emmanuel Macron following Sunday’s vote, giving him a powerful command to push through pro-business reforms, lent support to the euro.

The common currency was steady at $1.1195 EUR=EBS, maintaining Friday’s 0.5 percent gain.

The dollar was little changed on Monday. On Friday, it fell after U.S. home building fell for a third month in May to the lowest in eight months and a barometer of U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly fell in early June, prompting concerns about the Federal Reserve’s plans to stick with its monetary policy tightening.

The dollar index .DXY, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six global peers, was little changed at 97.182, failing to make up any of Friday’s 0.3 percent loss.

He spoke at a business roundtable in New York state that the market was awaiting comments by New York Fed President William Dudley, a close ally of Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

Chief forex strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo, Masafumi Yamamoto said, “In the wake of Friday’s weak U.S. data, Dudley could provide insight into whether the Fed is still poised to continue normalising monetary policy.”

He further added, “My view is that Dudley won’t sound too dovish, and thus allow the dollar’s gradual rise to resume.”

The greenback progressed better against the Japanese yen JPY=D4, which remained weak after the Bank of Japan left its ultra-loose monetary policy unchanged last week.

The yen didn’t respond to data on Monday showing Japanese exports rose at their fastest pace in May since January 2015.

The dollar added 0.1 percent to 110.98 yen JPY=, after touching a two-week high on Friday.

In commodities, oil futures lingered near six-week lows, as concerns about a supply excess amid halt demand.

U.S. crude CLc1 slipped 0.35 percent to $44.58 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent LCOc1 dropped 0.3 percent to $47.21.

Gold touched a 3-1/2-week low earlier in the session, and was trading down slightly at $1,252.70 an ounce at 0500 GMT.

Source: Reuters

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