HONG KONG, Oct 19 — Asian shares advanced today, supported by a tech-driven Wall Street rally, and a rebound in Chinese markets a day after weak data heightened investor concerns about the world’s second-largest economy.
The dollar was under pressure as weak US factory data tempered expectations about any near-term interest rate increases.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.76 per cent today. It is up about 5 per cent since its 12-month low hit on October 5, largely in line with a similar rally in world shares following a strong opening to the US earnings season.
However, the Asian benchmark is still well off its level in late July, when a series of regulatory changes in China roiled markets. Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.56 per cent.
“Asian markets have been generally following Wall Street and continuing the rebound — except worries about the Chinese economy’s growth are hurting that market’s performance,” said Edison Pun, Senior Market Analyst at Saxo Markets.
Chinese blue chips reversed early losses to rise 0.62 per cent today, a day they fell 1.1 per cent when China reported gross domestic product growth slowed in the third quarter.
There were also gains in Hong Kong up 1.21 per cent Australia, up 0.2 per cent, and South Korea, 0.63 per cent higher.
US stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis, gained 0.08 per cent.
Overnight, the S&P 500 gained 0.34 per cent and the Nasdaq ended up 0.84 while the Dow edged 0.1 per cent lower, hurt by weaker factory data.
Shares of Apple, Facebook and Microsoft were among the biggest boosts to the S&P 500.
In currency markets, the dollar languished near the bottom of its recent range against major peers today, knocked back by weak US factory data overnight and on market wagers of faster normalisation of monetary policy in other countries.
Westpac analysts said “any slippage should prove modest” with US Federal Reserve officials continuing to signal a strong preference for moving ahead with a November stimulus tapering announcement.
The dollar index slipped 0.13 per cent and was last at 93.83 near its lowest level this month, losing ground on sterling and the euro, though holding its position against the yen.
US Treasuries took a breather in early Asia. Overnight, five-year yields rose to their highest levels since early 2020 as traders positioned for expected central bank rate hikes.
Oil prices dipped from multi-year highs touched yesterday, also due to the fall in factory data, tempering expectations of demand, but high prices remain a concern for energy importing countries.
Brent crude lost 0.42 per cent to 83.97 a barrel and US crude lost 0.24 per cent to 82.24 a barrel.
Gold gained slightly with the spot price rising 0.2 per cent to US$1,767.9 (RM7,374.79) an ounce, though the metal remained well within its recent range. — Reuters