Asia stocks edge up as US earnings prop up Wall St, dollar solid
by Admin |
Asian stocks edged up on Thursday as robust corporate earnings helped Wall Street quell concerns over a surge in US bond yields, while the dollar hovered near three-month highs against a basket of currencies.
MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.09 percent.
The Dow rose 0.25 percent overnight, ending a five-day losing streak, and the S&P 500 gained 0.18 percent on optimism over a spate of upbeat earnings that managed to offset jitters over rising US bond yields.
The spike to a four-year peak above 3 percent in the 10-year US Treasury yield this week - a benchmark for global borrowing costs - had weighed on stocks amid concerns rising corporate borrowing costs could dampen profits.
Nonetheless the broader equity market reaction to the latest jump in US yields appeared to be more measured compared to February, when a similar spike in rates sent stocks tumbling.
"The equity markets slid sharply in January and March in response to the rise in Treasury yields. But the Federal Reserve signalled in March that its rate hikes would be gradual," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management in Tokyo.
"Expectations towards US rate hikes being gradual are enabling equities to take the current yield rise in stride."
The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 3.035 percent overnight, its highest since January 2014. The yield has climbed on expectations of a steady US economic expansion, accelerating inflation and concerns about increasing debt supply.
The dollar has drawn support from the higher US yields, with its index against a basket of six major currencies last up 0.05 percent at 91.210 and within reach of 91.261, a three-month peak scaled on Wednesday.
The greenback has risen without pause through much of the past week as concerns over a US-China trade dispute receded, allowing the market to turn its attention back to dollar-supportive fundamentals.