Asian stocks will rise on firmer US stocks, the vaccine hopes

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Asian markets will open higher on Friday after US stocks rallied as investors weighed the outlook for economic growth and inflation and welcomed progress in vaccine rollout.

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians and a traffic light with stop sign are reflected on a quote board in Tokyo, Japan, February 26, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon

“Market sentiment remains reasonably optimistic and volatility is remarkably low by post-pandemic standards,” said Kyle Rodda, an analyst at IG Markets.

“Right now – and that could indeed be a degree of complacency – the week’s hiccup in stocks has been razed to the ground.”

The Australian S & P / ASX 200 futures were up 0.30% during early trading, while the MSCI indicator of stocks around the world was up 0.14%.

Emerging markets equities lost 0.77%. MSCI’s widest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan closed 0.55% lower, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures fell 0.02%.

The Nikkei 225 index closed the overnight session with 1.14% at 28,729.88. The futures contract has risen 0.52% since that close. Hong Kong Hang Seng index futures rose 0.37%.

Data from the U.S. Department of Labor showed that unemployment benefit claims fell to a year-long low last week, a sign that the U.S. economy is on the brink of stronger growth as public health conditions improve and temperatures rise.

In his first formal press conference, US President Joe Biden said he would double his administration’s vaccination plan after reaching the previous target of 100 million shots 42 days ahead of schedule.

On Wall Street, stocks closely linked to an economic recovery led the recovery, while continued weakness in high-growth stocks and energy companies kept the S&P 500 and other major indices from moving significantly higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 199.42 points, or 0.62%, to 32,619.48, the S&P 500 gained 20.38 points, or 0.52%, to 3,909.52 and the Nasdaq Composite added 15.79 points or 0.12% to 12,977.68.

Oil tumbled after rising the day before when a container ship got stuck in the Suez Canal. The ship can block the vital shipping route for weeks.

US crude was down 0.09% last time to $ 58.51 a barrel and Brent was down at $ 61.84, down 3.99% one day.

Roads to the sentiment was a sell-off in Chinese technology stocks amid concerns that they will be scrapped from the US stock exchanges here amid concerns over semiconductor shortages.

Shares of Nike Inc fell 3.4% when the sporting goods giant faced a response to Chinese social media over its comments on reports of forced labor in Xinjiang.

The dollar index hit its all-time high since November of 92,697 overnight, breaking the 200-day moving average.

The dollar index rose 0.265%, while the euro rose 0.05% to $ 1,177.

“The dollar is absolutely crucial,” said James Athey, investment director at Aberdeen Standard Investments. “When the dollar starts to rise, that becomes a problem. It means commodity weakness and emerging market weakness and it is starting to counterbalance disinflation. “

Benchmark 10-year bonds last rose in price to return 1.6332%, from 1.614% late Thursday.

Spot gold added 0.1% to $ 1,727.73 an ounce.

Reporting by Katanga Johnson; edited by Richard Pullin