Japan’s Nikkei mounted to two-year high as U.S. hi-tech rebound boosts mood


Japan’s Nikkei mounted more than 1 percent to a near two-year high on Tuesday, encouraged by recoiled in U.S. hi-tech shares as investors bet on solid growth in the economy and corporate profits globally.

European shares seen extending gains, with spread-betters expecting Germany’s DAX to rise 0.2 percent from Monday’s record closing high. France’s CAC is expected to open 0.3 percent higher while Britain’s FTSE is seen up 0.1 percent.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan held firm near a two-year high struck last week, but was little changed on the day.

Taiwan shares striked a 17-year high but gains in high-tech firms were offset by a fall in Australian shares.

A big focus for Asia is whether index provider MSCI will later in the global day open up its Emerging Markets Index to Chinese mainland shares which have inadequate ingress for foreign investors.

The blue-chip CSI300 index of mainland stocks was down 0.2 percent.

Wall Street’s S&P 500 and the Dow industrial average hit record highs as technology shares rebound back after some sudden falls earlier this month.

Chief global strategist at Rakuten Securities, Mutsumi Kagawa said, “Hi-tech shares just went through a correction. Their valuation is not that expensive, standing far below their levels at the peak of the dot-com bubble in 2000. Given that their profits are expected to see exponential growth in coming years, it is premature to say the rally in hi-tech shares is over.”

U.S. financial shares also gained as U.S. debt yields soared after New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley, a close ally of Fed Chair Janet Yellen, said U.S. inflation should rebound alongside wages as the labor market continues to improve.

The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield climbed to 2.184 percent from a seven-month low of 2.103 percent touched on Wednesday, following surprisingly weak U.S. inflation data.

Senior investment analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, Norihiro Fujito said, “Even though the Federal Reserve is about to shrink its balance sheet, possibly as soon as in September, U.S. bond yields are kept at low levels, which are very comfortable for stocks.”

He also said, “Trade volume is light and whether the market continues to rise depends on whether large cap tech shares continue to rebound.”

The rebound in U.S. bond yields helped to lift the U.S. dollar, which rose to 111.775 yen, its highest level in more than three weeks. The euro traded at $1.1154, just above its two-week low of $1.11315 set on Thursday.

The British pound slid slightly to $1.2735 from Monday’s high of $1.2814, held back by doubt over domestic politics and over Britain’s economic future, as formal Brexit debate got under way on Monday.

Oil prices flirted with this year’s lows as market players saw more signs that rising crude production in the United States, Libya and Nigeria were weakening OPEC-led efforts to support the market with output curbs.

Brent crude futures traded at $46.92 per barrel, flat on the day and not far from last week’s low of $46.70 and five-month low of $46.64 touched in early May.

U.S. crude futures stood at $44.19 per barrel, less than a half cent above its five-month low of $43.76 set on May 5.

Safe-haven gold striked a one-month low of $1,243.2 an ounce as risk sentiment improved, before blooming back a tad to $1,245.5.

Source: Reuters

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