Asia Stocks to Track U.S. Higher; Dollar Declines: Markets Wrap

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Asian looked set for gains Thursday after U.S. peers briefly surpassed their all-time closing high, led by surging technology shares. The dollar weakened and Treasury yields rose five-week highs.

Futures pointed higher in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. The S&P 500 earlier climbed 1.4%, momentarily topping its February high, and capping the more than 50% rally since the market lows in March. The Nasdaq Composite outperformed as Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Tesla Inc. jumped. Treasury yields dropped from the session highs after the government’s sale $38 billion in 10-year notes attracted stronger-than-forecast demand. Gold steadied.

Investors continue to bank on further stimulus and Federal Reserve speakers sounded more urgent about the need to protect a nascent recovery. Dallas head Robert Kaplan called on officials to push harder for adherence to protective behaviors and said extending unemployment benefits is “critical” to growth.

“The main force that’s been driving the last few weeks has really been momentum,” said Kevin Caron, portfolio manager for Washington Crossing. “We’ve got a market that’s focused on the good case outcome for the virus, we’ve got a market that has taken a great deal of comfort in that fiscal policy is going to be there to support an economy through tough times.”

Elsewhere, oil rose after data showed U.S. stockpiles fell over 4 million barrels last week and refiners boosted processing rates, signs of improving demand.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • China releases a slew of data for July on Friday, including industrial production and retail sales.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 rose 1.4% on Wednesday.
  • Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 1.4%.
  • Hang Seng futures climbed 0.4%.
  • Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.7%.

Currencies

  • The yen was at 106.86 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan traded at 6.9332 per dollar.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%.
  • The euro bought $1.1783.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose four basis points to 0.68%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 2.3% to $42.56 a barrel.
  • Gold was at $1,915.83 an ounce.

— With assistance by Vildana Hajric, Claire Ballentine, and Sophie Caronello

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