- Asia Stocks Rally on Earnings Views; Aussie Climbs
Asian stocks climbed, with many of the region’s equity markets rallying after holidays as investors focused on stronger corporate earnings. The yen maintained losses while copper rose with the Aussie.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index returned to the highest level since June 2015. South Korea led the way, with the Kospi briefly topping its previous record close. The Nasdaq Composite Index ended at an all-time high in the U.S. The yield on 10-year Treasuries held gains after Steven Mnuchin said it “could absolutely make sense” for the government to sell ultra-long bonds. Oil traded near a one-month low. The Australian dollar extended an advance after the Reserve Bank of Australia left its benchmark interest rate unchanged.
Investors are focusing on earnings that have helped power global stocks to a record, with tech shares outperforming. Equities have also rallied since Emmanuel Macron emerged as the front-runner over Marine Le Pen in the French presidential race. A tentative deal by the U.S. Congress to avert a government shutdown eliminated another concern this week, while worries about North Korea have lessened. U.S. President Donald Trump said that if the circumstances were right, he would meet with leader Kim Jong Un.
Despite recent drops in volatility gauges, markets are still subject to jolts. Stocks were whipsawed during the U.S. session after Trump suggested reintroducing rules that keep commercial and investment banking operations separate, triggering a brief slide in bank shares.
China data continue to add to concerns about the strength of the global economy, with a gauge of April manufacturing falling below estimates. That comes after a weaker-than-expected GDP report from the U.S., and ahead of Friday’s key monthly American jobs report. Australia kept interest rates unchanged as inflation speeds up and signs of looming fiscal stimulus increase.