Asia starts new month up on strong Wall Street after brutal October
TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks rose on Thursday as bruised investor sentiment got some relief from another robust Wall Street session thanks to upbeat corporate earnings, while the dollar hovered near a 16-month high on further signs of strength in the world’s largest economy.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.15 percent, adding to modest gains the previous day, though this came after a brutal October month.
The index had fallen 10.2 percent in October, it worst monthly performance since August 2015, as factors ranging from Sino-US trade tensions to worries about global economic growth, higher US interest rates and company earnings spurred volatility in global markets.
There were tentative signs of the gloom slowly beginning to lift, led by a rebound in beaten-down US shares.
Wall Street rose for a second day as strong company results and bargain hunting of beaten-down technology and internet favourites lifted spirits.
The improved mood filtered down to Asia, with Australian stocks up 0.55 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI putting on 0.5 percent. Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.3 percent following two days of big gains.
“What we are seeing is the equity markets trying to rebound after bottoming out. Corporate earnings in the US and Japanese markets have been relatively strong on the whole, which means there are plenty of bargain hunting opportunities,” said Soichiro Monji, senior economist at Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo.
“The ongoing rebound has further room to go. The US-China trade conflict will continue popping up as a market factor going forward, but the worst fears appear to have subsided for now, at least through the US midterm elections.”
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies .DXY hovered near a 16-month high of 97.20 scaled overnight after the ADP national employment report showed that US private sector payrolls increased by the most in eight months in October.
The greenback has enjoyed a boost from robust economic reports, including data last week which showed the US economy slowed less than expected in the third quarter.
The euro, on the other hand, has been weighed by less-than-stellar economic news from the euro zone region.
The single currency stood at $1.1316 after retreating to $1.1302 , its lowest since mid-August.
The pound rose 0.45 percent to $1.2819 after the Times reported that British Prime Minister Theresa May had sealed a deal with Brussels that would give British financial serves companies continued access to European markets after Brexit.
The bounce lifted the pound further away from a 2-1/2-month low struck on Tuesday.
In commodities, US crude futures CLc1 were down 0.47 percent at $65.00 per barrel.
The benchmark remained on the back foot after falling more than $10 from a four-year peak reached early in October as the global market tumult last month was seen hurting demand for fuel.