Asian Shares Climb As U.S. Rate Worries Ease
Asian stocks rallied on Friday as the Fed’s steady monetary policy approach coupled with labor market data released this week and a lower-than-expected supply of longer-dated bonds raised hopes that the U.S. central bank has finished raising rates.
The dollar slipped and the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield hit a three-week low ahead of the October jobs report due later in the day, which is expected to show a slowdown in hiring.
Gold edged up on dollar weakness, while oil extended overnight gains despite weaker service sector activity data from China.
Japanese markets were closed for a holiday. China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.7 percent to 3,030.80 after a private sector survey revealed that Chinese services activity expanded at a slightly faster pace in October. The headline Caixin services PMI improved to 50.4 from September’s nine-month low of 50.2.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index soared 2.5 percent to 17,664.12 despite survey results showing further contraction in Hong Kong’s private sector activity in October.
Seoul stocks advanced as positive global sentiment offset data showing that South Korea’s foreign reserves fell for a third straight month in October. The Kospi jumped 1.1 percent to 2,368.34.
Australian markets closed higher after data showed retail sales volume ticked up in the September quarter. The benchmark S&P ASX 200 Index shot up 1.1 percent to 6,978.20, while the broader All Ordinaries Index settled 1.1 percent higher at 7,175.10.
Industrials led the rally, while energy stocks underperformed following wild swings in crude oil price movements throughout the week.
National carrier Qantas jumped 2 percent after holding its AGM in Melbourne. Investment bank Macquarie Group added 1.8 percent on share buyback news.
Across the Tasman, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P NZX-50 Index closed 0.7 percent higher at 11,118.92.
U.S. stocks extended the week’s rally overnight and Treasury yields fell as data showing an uptick in weekly jobless claims and declining labor costs added to bets that the Fed is done raising interest rates.
The Dow jumped 1.7 percent to post its best single-day gain since June and the S&P 500 soared 1.9 percent to mark its best day since April, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 1.8 percent, marking its best session since July.
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