Asian stocks rallied, following gains in U.S. equities and the dollar, as concern eased on President Donald Trump’s proposed tariffs. The yen weakened and Treasuries held losses.
Japan’s Topix index surged almost 2 percent and shares in Australia and South Korea also gained. The S&P 500 Index advanced for a second day after hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio called the threat of a trade war “political show” and House Speaker Paul Ryan urged the president to reconsider tariffs on steel and aluminum. Ten-year Treasury yields advanced toward 2.90 percent.
Trump’s surprise announcement Thursday that he intends to implement tough tariffs on steel and aluminum imports roiled global financial markets, though those concerns are being dialed back as investors speculate the president’s talk won’t translate into the most severe protectionist policies. Trump kept pushing the protectionist stance in a series of tweets, even as leading Republican lawmakers and donors began to publicly question the wisdom of upending the global trading order.
Elsewhere, European equities halted a four-day slide after a major breakthrough on the path to a German government though Italy’s stocks and bonds underperformed as anti-establishment political groups surged in Sunday’s election. West Texas oil advanced as a halt at Libya’s biggest crude field sparked speculation that supply will tighten and help reduce a global glut.
Here are some key events coming up this week:
- The Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference runs through March 15 and overlaps with the National People’s Congress meetings in Beijing, through March 20.
- Reserve Bank of Australia monetary policy decision on Tuesday, with GDP data due Wednesday.
- The ECB isn’t expected to change policy on Thursday, but the Governing Council may discuss a change to pave the way for the end of quantitative easing.
- BOJ monetary policy decision and briefing on Friday.
- U.S. monthly payrolls data.
These are the main moves in markets:
- Japan’s Topix was up 1.8 percent and the Nikkei 225 Stock Average climbed 2.1 percent as of 9:23 a.m. in Tokyo.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 1.3 percent.
- South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 1.1 percent.
- Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.2 percent.
- Contracts on the S&P 500 Index gained less than 0.05 percent. The underlying measure rose 1.1 percent.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat.
- The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.2344.
- The pound was little changed at $1.3857.
- The yen fell 0.2 percent to 106.37 per dollar, extending Monday’s decline.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries was steady at 2.88 percent.
- Australia’s 10-year yield climbed six basis point to 2.80 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2 percent to $62.67 a barrel after advancing 2.2 percent Monday.
- Gold was steady at $1,322.05 an ounce.