Asia stocks rise as U.S. data calms economy worry

Asia stocks rise as U.S. data calms economy worry
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SYDNEY (Sept 6): Stocks in Asia rose after a strong session on Wall Street as a slew of data bolstered confidence in the American economy. Treasuries held declines.

Shares in Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney saw modest gains, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index on course for its biggest weekly advance since June. The S&P 500 closed more than 1% higher as trade hostilities appeared to ease between the U.S. and China, and strong private payrolls data and a better-than-expected reading on the services sector tamped down recession angst.

Treasury yields held on to a jump that came amid a deluge of investment-grade corporate supply. Australian bonds tracked Thursday’s sell-off. The dollar was little changed.

News that top Chinese and American officials agreed to restart talks aimed at ending the trade war is helping boost sentiment and adds to a renewed appetite for risk assets that took hold earlier in the week. After the strong U.S. economic data, focus is now likely to shift to remarks from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and the latest jobs report, both due Friday.

“While this has been some positive economic data, it makes it a little more difficult for the Fed to cut rates,” Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco Ltd., told Bloomberg TV. “I suspect what we will hear from Powell is a very tepid commentary on the Fed’s ability to provide monetary policy accommodation.”

Elsewhere, Florida orange groves seemingly escaped major damage from Hurricane Dorian, but concern is now turning to soy, corn and cotton fields as well as livestock in Georgia and the Carolinas as the storm churns northward.

Here are some key events coming up:

* Fed speakers this week include Fed chair Jerome Powell on Friday.

* The U.S. jobs report on Friday is projected to show the widely watched nonfarm payrolls rose by 160,000 in August, versus 164,000 the month prior. Estimates are for unemployment to be steady at 3.7% and the average hourly earnings rate of increase to slow to 3%.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

* Japan’s Topix index rose 0.5% as of 9:04 a.m. in Tokyo.

* South Korea’s Kospi added 0.6%.

* Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3%.

* Futures on the S&P 500 Index advanced 0.2%. The underlying gauge increased 1.3% Thursday.

Currencies

* The yen was at 107.05 per dollar, down 0.1%.

* The offshore yuan was flat 7.1386 per dollar.

* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.

* The euro held at $1.1034.

Bonds

* The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained at 1.56% after climbing nine basis points Thursday.

* Australia’s 10-year yield rose 10 basis points to 1.07%.

Commodities

* Gold was at $1,518.73 an ounce after sliding 2.2%.

* West Texas Intermediate slipped 0.1% to $56.27 a barrel.