Asia shares jump as investors anticipate smaller interest rate rises
SINGAPORE – Asian shares rose on Thursday on growing expectations that major central banks could start slowing th pace of interest rate hikes in coming months, while the dollar’s retreat lifted commodities and pushed treasury yields lower.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 1.59 percent higher and set for third straight session of gains. The index is down roughly 2 percent for the month.
Australia’s resources-heavy share index advanced 0.81 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei opened 0.09 percent lower.
China’s stock market opened 0.1 percent higher on Friday, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index up 2.6 percent at the open.
China stocks have had a turbulent week, headlined by Monday’s brutal selloff as global investors dumped Chinese assets, worried that President Xi Jinping’s new leadership team would put ideology before the economy.
But an increasing expectation among investors that the Federal Reserve along with other central banks may stall their aggressive rate-hike policies has helped soothe investor jitters and blunted the dollar’s rally.
“Yields are generally lower globally as the earlier run up in expectations for central bank tightening are pared a little further,” said Taylor Nugent, a markets economist at National Australia Bank in Sydney.
Nugent also noted the Bank of Canada on Wednesday announced a smaller-than-expected rate rise of 50 percentage points, and saying it fanned expectations that the Fed would start the shift to a similar sized rate rises in December.
U.S. Treasury yields fell, helped by a weaker dollar and the expectations of the Fed becoming less hawkish.
Meanwhile, earnings report from Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc on Wednesday and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd spurred worries of a downturn after some of Europe’s largest banks also warned of growing risks as the economy fizzles.
In the currency markets, the euro pushed above $1 for the first time in five weeks, peaking at $1.00935, as investors awaited a rate decision from the European Central Bank (ECB), with markets expecting it to deliver a 75 bp rate hike. .
Sterling was trading at $1.1624, down 0.03 percent on the day after coming off a session high of $1.1645.
The yen strengthened 0.18 percent versus the greenback at 146.09 per dollar.
The slide in dollar has also helped push gold prices higher, with spot gold scaling a two-week high on Wednesday.
Oil prices continued to rise in early Asian trade on Thursday after surging more than 3 percent in the previous session.
Brent crude futures rose 25 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $95.94 a barrel by 0015 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 19 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $88.10.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.