Sydney: Asian stocks looked set to round out a strong quarter with gains on Friday, while the rally in sovereign bonds ebbed as investors gauge the outlook for growth. The dollar steadied after a three-day advance.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index is heading for an 8.6 per cent advance for the quarter, recouping the bulk of the fourth-quarter sell-off. Chinese shares saw the biggest gains, with the Shanghai Composite up 2.4 per cent. Equities also climbed in Japan, Hong Kong and Korea. US equity futures edged higher. Australian bonds tracked modest declines in Treasuries.
White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the Trump administration is prepared to keep negotiating with Beijing for weeks or even months. Some of the rebound in equities this quarter has been attributed to the improved prospects for an end to the trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
“Risk assets are being supported right now, in my view, by a dovish Fed, a China stabilisation and better sentiment around geopolitical risks,” said Frances Donald, the head of macroeconomic strategy at Manulife Asset Management. “That probably gives this rally a little bit more juice.”
Also on the docket Friday are remarks by Fed board member Randal Quarles. New York Fed President John Williams Thursday downplayed fears of recession risks being signalled by bond markets, following last week’s inversion in part of the yield curve. Still, the MSCI gauge of global stocks remains on track for its best quarter since 2012.
Elsewhere, oil recouped losses that had been triggered by President Donald Trump saying that Opec should lift crude production. The Turkish lira earlier sank despite an organised effort to stem losses days before elections. The pound is at the low end of its recent range ahead of another Brexit vote looming in the UK Parliament.