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Surging US stocks give Asian markets a fresh boost

Wednesday 03:30 BST

Overview

Asian markets broadly took their cue from Wall Street following record highs for both the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Hot topic

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was 0.6 per cent higher as the information technology sector rose 2 per cent, following a rally for tech stocks on Wall Street after two days of steep losses.

The S&P 500 gained 0.5 per cent to a record close of 2,440 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.4 per cent to finish at its own fresh record.

Japan’s Topix was flat even as the information technology sector rose 0.2 per cent. Nintendo rose as much as 3.2 per cent after revealing new games for its newest video game console Switch.

Toshiba was among the biggest losers on the Topix, sliding as much as 6.3 per cent following a report by The Mainichi newspaper that the company would ask Japan’s Finance Ministry to delay submitting the required Securities Report for the fiscal year ended in March.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index had a choppy start and was down 0.4 per cent. Electric vehicle maker BYD was up 3.9 per cent after Beijing tweaked the proposed formula for calculating credits for electric vehicles to reward companies making such vehicles. The company was the biggest gainer on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, which comprises mainland Chinese companies listed in Hong Kong.

In China the Shanghai Composite was down 0.5 per cent while the Shenzhen Composite slipped 0.3 per cent.

Forex

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of peers, was flat at 96.955. The Japanese yen was unmoved at ¥110.02.

The Canadian dollar continued to strengthen against the US dollar following comments on Monday by the senior deputy governor at the Bank of Canada that were viewed as increasing the likelihood the central bank would raise rates later this year. The loonie was 0.2 per cent stronger at C$1.3221, a four-month high against the dollar.

The UK pound was flat against the dollar at $1.2750 after strengthening 0.8 per cent on Tuesday.

The South Korean won gained 0.2 per cent against the dollar to Won1125.77 after data showed unemployment in the country dipped to the equal-lowest level so far in 2017 at 3.6 per cent in May.

Fixed income

The yield on US 10-year Treasuries fell by 1 basis point to 2.200 per cent ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy decision due later on Wednesday, when it is widely expected to raise interest rates.

Commodities

Oil prices fell after a report showed output from Opec countries rose in May, despite an agreement from the cartel to cut production.

Benchmark Brent crude fell 0.8 per cent to $48.32 a barrel and US benchmark West Texas Intermediate slipped 0.9 per cent to $46.03 a barrel.

Gold was up 0.2 per cent at $1,269.44 an ounce.

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