Asia stocks to extend global gains; bonds retreat

Asia stocks to extend global gains; bonds retreat
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SYDNEY (Feb 13): Asian stocks were primed to add to gains for global equities as optimism grew the world economy can recover from the impact of the coronavirus, which showed signs of a slowdown in the rate of spreading. Treasuries retreated.

Shares opened modestly higher in Australia and bond yields advanced, while equity futures rose in Tokyo and Hong Kong, indicating regional shares could be heading for a third day of gains. The S&P 500 Index earlier rose to an all-time high as China’s Hubei province reported the lowest number of new virus cases this month. Crude oil advanced. The euro tumbled to the lowest since 2017.

Sentiment is getting a boost from investors concluding that the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on global growth will just be a short shock and won’t be prolonged. In China, President Xi Jinping said the country would meet its economic goals while battling the outbreak.

“Since we have started to see the growth rate in the number of cases slowdown, we have seen investors looking through this tragedy,” Tracie McMillion, head of global asset allocation strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute Inc., told Bloomberg TV. They are “looking through this hit to the Chinese economy and potentially more broadly, and going in and purchasing shares.”

Meantime, Greek bonds rose, pushing the yield on 10-year debt below 1% for the first time. Here are some key events coming up:

* Earnings season continues with reports still due from the likes of Alibaba, Nissan, Credit Suisse, Airbus, Nestle and AIG.

* Thursday brings a gauge of underlying U.S. inflation, the core consumer price index. It is forecast to increase to 0.2% in January, a faster pace than in December.

* China and the U.S. on Friday lower tariffs on billions of dollars of respective imports as part of the trade deal signed last month.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

* Futures on the S&P 500 Index were flat as of 8:09 a.m. in Tokyo. The underlying gauge rose 0.7% on Wednesday.

* Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 0.4%.

* Hang Seng Index futures earlier gained 0.5%.

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

Currencies

* The yen was at 110.07 per dollar.

* The offshore yuan held at 6.9740 per dollar.

* The euro bought $1.0872 after slipping 0.4% in the prior session.

Bonds

* The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose four basis points to 1.64%.

* Australia’s 10-year yield gained three basis points to 1.09%.

Commodities

* West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.8% to $51.59 a barrel.

* Gold held at $1,566.42 an ounce.