Asia stocks firm, China sets cautious goal for growth
Asian shares edged up on Monday while bond markets held their breath ahead of an update on the U.S. rate outlook from the world’s most powerful central banker, and a jobs report that could decide if the next hike needs to be super-sized.
There was some disappointment that Beijing chose to lowball its growth outlook with a target of 5%, rather than the 5.5%-plus favoured by the market, but the recent run of actual data has been strong enough to keep investors optimistic.
Chinese blue chips (.CSI300) slipped 0.5%, having gained 1.7% last week. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) was still up 0.7%.
Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) climbed 1.2% to a three-month top, while South Korean stocks (.KS11) added 1.0% helped by a softer reading on inflation.
EUROSTOXX 50 futures firmed 0.5%, while FTSE futures held steady. S&P 500 futures gained 0.2% and Nasdaq futures 0.4%, after rallying on Friday as bond yields eased back a little.
Yields on 10-year Treasuries stood at 3.94%, after last week’s spike to 4.09% proved tempting enough to attract buyers.
Markets have become resigned to more rate rises from the Federal Reserve but are hoping it will stick with quarter-point moves rather than switch back to half-point hikes.
This report’s information was first seen on REUTERS; to read more, click this link.