Equities Rally Stalls in Asia as Yen Strengthens: Markets Wrap
published Feb 21st 2017, 6:36 pm, by Adam Haigh
Bulls relinquished some of their grip on stocks as a global rally stalled in Asia and the yen strengthened.
Japan’s Topix index briefly erased an early gain as the yen climbed, with equities in Sydney lower and Seoul’s Kospi little changed. U.S. stock indexes posted record highs Tuesday and the dollar rose as Federal Reserve officials encouraged investors to contemplate a March rate hike. Australia is generating record demand for its sale of November 2028 bonds, according to Pacific Investment Management Co.
Investors are pausing for breath after the value of global equities surged above $70 trillion amid optimism for faster economic growth. Money managers are grappling with political uncertainty as the Fed prepares to lift interest rates again later this year.
Here are some events that investors are watching out for:
The Fed releases minutes Wednesday from its most recent meeting, possibly giving investors a look into how members see Trump’s policies. Data should show the U.S. housing market perking up at the start of the year. Hong Kong will deliver its latest growth figures Wednesday. It’s International Petroleum Week in London and top OPEC, government and company officials are attending.
Here are the main market moves:
The yen rose 0.1 percent to 113.60 per dollar as of 9:35 a.m. in Tokyo. The Bloomberg Dollar Index was little changed after rising 0.2 percent on Tuesday. The Topix index fluctuated between gains and losses and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.1 percent. The S&P 500 added 0.6 percent Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the Nasdaq Composite Index and the Russell 200 Index closing at all-time highs. Banking stocks in Europe fell 1 percent after HSBC missed earnings estimates and said it will boost cost-cutting measures and extend a stock buyback. The Stoxx Europe 600 index advanced 0.6 percent for a third straight gain that left it at the highest since December 2015. The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 2.44 percent.
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