Asian stocks gain, dollar holds advance, Italy in focus
Asian stocks rounded out a volatile month with gains on Friday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average approaching its highest since 1991. Italy’s assets will be in focus after the country’s government set a wider budget deficit than some investors had anticipated.
The yen slid to the weakest level this year helped stoke Japanese shares, and equities advanced from Sydney to Shanghai in Asia.
US stock futures were little changed ahead of economic data including consumer spending, income, and inflation.
Treasuries and the dollar were little changed. Italian bonds opened lower after Italy set a 2.4% budget-deficit target.
“This is a disappointing risk-off outcome, but lies in the grey zone rather than red zone in terms of escalation of stress to dangerous levels,” Krishna Guha, head of central-bank strategy at Evercore ISI in Washington, wrote in a note on the Italian budget.
In Tokyo, investors are still watching whether the Bank of Japan tapers purchases of super-long bonds in its plan for October, out Friday afternoon.
Elsewhere, oil rose a day after the US Energy secretary ruled out tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, compounding concerns that sanctions on Iran will tighten markets.
These are the main moves in markets:
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.4% as of 3:07 PM Tokyo time
- Topix index rose 1% and the Nikkei 225 gained 1.4% to the highest since January
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.4%
- Kospi index fell 0.6%
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 0.7%
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index were little changed
- Futures on the FTSE 100 were flat
- The Japanese yen sank 0.1% to 113.51 per dollar
- The offshore yuan rose 0.1% to 6.8816 per dollar
- The euro was little changed at $1.1643
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 3.04%
- Australia’s 10-year yield fell two basis points to 2.67%
- Japan’s 10-year yield gained one basis point to 0.12%
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.3% to $72.32 a barrel
- Gold rose 0.1% to $1,183.32 an ounce
- LME copper rose 0.4% to $6,209 per metric tonne
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