SYDNEY (Feb 6): Stocks in Asia were primed for gains after data showed resilience in the U.S. economy and investors speculated the fallout from the coronavirus could be contained. U.S. equities earlier closed at an all-time high and Treasury yields advanced.
Shares opened modestly higher in Australia and futures rose in Japan and Hong Kong, signaling equities in the Asia Pacific could be on course for a third day of gains. Risk sentiment was lifted after a string of reports on possible vaccines for the virus, but the World Health Organization later said there are no proven therapeutics. The dollar rose, with data showing U.S. firms added more jobs than economists’ forecasts in January.
Crude oil remained higher amid prospects for OPEC+ output cuts. The WHO has pushed back against suggestions of imminent breakthroughs on vaccines or treatments as efforts to stop the virus spreading ramp up. Hong Kong is taking additional steps to quarantine all arrivals from mainland China and is shutting its cruise-ship terminal. Meantime, traders will be watching out for central bank decisions in India and the Philippines on Thursday.
“Hopefully it is going to be contained in a relatively short time frame, which means the global implications to this situation are going to be somewhat limited,” Katerina Simonetti, senior vice president of wealth management at UBS Financial Services, told Bloomberg TV.
Meantime, the Senate acquitted U.S. President Donald Trump of abuse of power and obstructing Congress. Here are some key events coming up:
* German factory orders for December are due Thursday, followed by industrial production on Friday.
* The U.S. employment report for January is set for Friday release.
And these are the main moves in markets:
* Futures on the S&P 500 Index were little changed as of 8:07 a.m. in Tokyo. The underlying gauge climbed 1.1% on Wednesday.
* Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 1.4%.
* Hang Seng Index futures earlier gained 0.7%.
* Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.5%.
* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.2%.
* The yen was at 109.81 per dollar.
* The offshore yuan traded at 6.9740 per dollar.
* The euro bought $1.1000.
* The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose five basis points to 1.65% on Wednesday.
* Australia’s 10-year yield gained four basis points to 1.07% on Thursday.
* West Texas Intermediate crude increased 0.9% to $51.19 a barrel.
* Gold was steady at $1,555.37 an ounce.