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Stocks rise in Asia on Trump-Kim summit, yen drops

Mar 09 2018 07:41
Adam Haigh, Bloomberg

Sydney - Asian stocks rose and the yen slumped on news of an agreement for an unprecedented summit between the leaders of the US and North Korea, defusing geopolitical concerns tied to the nuclear-armed dictatorship in northeast Asia.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index climbed, led by a jump in Korean stocks though gains pared as the session progressed.

Equities had already been tipped for a rise Friday morning on optimism that President Donald Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminium were narrower than some had feared.

The announcement at the White House that Trump has accepted an invitation to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with the meeting coming by May, fed the risk-on sentiment. The yen fell the most in more than two weeks, even as the Bank of Japan stayed the course with its monetary stimulus on Friday.

Gold retreated, while Treasury yields ticked higher alongside the dollar. The summit news overshadowed a warning from China that it will take "strong" measures to counter US trade tariffs. Later, investors will be watching the monthly US employment data for clues on the outlook for monetary policy.

Elsewhere, West Texas oil steadied around the lowest level in three weeks as rising US supply and dollar strength eclipsed bullish demand outlooks. Bitcoin fell below $9 000.

Here are the key events for the remainder of 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. US monthly payrolls data come Friday.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3% as of 1:07pm Tokyo time. Topix index rose 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.9%.

The Shanghai Composite added 0.1%. Kospi index rose 1.4%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3%. Futures on the S&P 500 Index were little changed.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1%. The yen declined 0.5% to 106.72 per dollar. The euro fell less than 0.05% to $1.2310.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 2.87%. Japan’s 10-year yield fell less than one basis point to 0.052%. Australia’s 10-year yield fell one basis point to 2.79%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2% to $60.23 a barrel. Gold fell 0.3% to $1 317.79 an ounce. LME copper fell 0.2% to $6 820.00 per metric tonne.

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equities  |  markets  |  asian stocks
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