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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Asian shares recover on record Dow close, U.S. data

By Chikako Mogi

TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares shrugged off three days of losses on Friday as global risk sentiment was buoyed by new U.S. data overnight suggesting a steady recovery in the world’s largest economy.

The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched up 0.3 percent after falling in the past three sessions as investors took profits from regional rallies that took some of the national indexes to record peaks or multi-year highs.

The Dow Jones industrial average once again closed at a record high, rising for a 10th straight day on Thursday for its longest winning streak since 1996, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index closed less than 2 points from an all-time closing high of 1,565.15 set in October 2007.

European shares surged to fresh 4-1/2 year peaks on Thursday on upbeat corporate updates, lower-than-expected weekly U.S. jobless claims, and a lack of price pressure.

The price data left scope for the U.S. Federal Reserve to keep in place the very accommodative monetary policy that has helped support asset prices around the world.

Australian shares rose 0.8 percent, as the stellar performance in U.S. stocks boosted financial stocks. The Australian dollar, often used as a gauge for investor risk appetite, was at $1.0380, not far from Thursday’s five-week high touched after a strong local employment data reduced the chances for a rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The dollar index measured against a basket of key currencies retreated but stayed near a seven-month peak of 83.166 hit on Thursday, while the euro rebounded to $1.3014, off a three-month trough of $1.2911 reached on Thursday.

“With the U.S. dollar converting from a funding towards an asset currency, we would expect bullish emerging markets trades to be funded in low-cost, fundamentally weak G-10 currencies” such as the yen, the euro and sterling,” Morgan Stanley said in a research note.

“The global economy has remained on a strong reflation course. Countries that are seeing their economies do better are allowing their currencies to appreciate,” and their strengthening demand conditions should benefit other economies, which is risk-positive, Morgan Stanley said.

South Korean shares opened 0.4 percent higher.

Japan’s Nikkei stock average opened up 0.5 percent.

Japan’s stock market is focusing on a vote later in the session in the upper house of parliament on the government’s nominees for the next Bank of Japan governor and two deputy governors. All three were approved by the lower house on Thursday and are likely to be passed by the upper house as well.

Expectations that the new BOJ leadership will take more aggressive monetary easing policies have driven yen selling and share buying for the past four months.

The dollar was trading at 96 yen, below Tuesday’s high of 96.71 yen, its peak since August 2009.

The euro was at 124.92 yen, also off a one-month high of 126.03 reached on Tuesday. The euro was partly underpinned on Thursday by solid demand for Spanish long-term debt auction.

Crude oil was up 0.3 percent to $93.28 a barrel.

(Editing by Eric Meijer)

Source: Reuters

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