Energy companies underpinned stock gains in Asia after a rally in crude oil, in an Asian session subdued by a Japanese holiday before the Federal Reserve’s policy decision.
Stocks in Hong Kong outperformed ahead of earnings from Tencent Holdings Ltd. An energy sub-index had the biggest gain in the MSCI Asia Pacific index, as well as in Australia. Crude and U.S. energy shares climbed overnight as the OPEC-led alliance of major oil producers accelerated the timeline for curbing a worldwide supply glut. The dollar retreated from a two-week high, while Treasuries were un-traded thanks to the Japan holiday.
Markets are settling down after technology-led declines saw equities on the back foot at the start of the week. Though the broader market is recovering, the crisis engulfing Facebook Inc. continues to deepen, drawing the ire of politicians on both sides of the Atlantic. Investor focus now turns to Jerome Powell’s first FOMC meeting as chairman; the jury is still out on whether the central bank will lift its projections for the pace of policy tightening this year.
Elsewhere, the U.K. currency was little changed after falling on data that showed the nation’s inflation rate fell more than expected in February. Gold inched higher and iron ore climbed.
Terminal users can read more in our markets blog.
Here are some key events on the schedule this week:
- The Fed decision and Jerome Powell’s news conference come on Wednesday.
- The Bank of England is expected to keep interest rates and its asset-purchase program unchanged on Thursday. Attention will be on language and the odds for a May hike.
- New Zealand has a monetary policy decision Thursday.
- Company earnings scheduled for this week include Tencent, Hermes, PetroChina and Nike.
And these are the main moves in markets:
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.2 percent.
- South Korea’s Kospi index was little changed.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 1.2 percent.
- The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.5 percent.
- S&P 500 Index futures added 0.1 percent as of 12:45 p.m. in Hong Kong.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2 percent.
- The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.2263.
- The pound nudged 0.1 percent higher to $1.4016.
- The yen was little changed at 106.48 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose four basis points to 2.90 percent Tuesday. Treasuries will resume trading in London because of the Japan holiday.
- Australia’s 10-year yield was steady at 2.70 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude built on a 2.2 percent advance to gain 0.2 percent to $63.66 a barrel.
- Gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,313.64 an ounce.