Asian Stocks Up, Maintain Momentum as COVID-19 Recovery Remains on Track

This post was originally published on this site – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly up Monday morning as investors await the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy decision, due later in the week. Investors will also be keeping an eye on results from the continuing earnings season for clues on the global economic recovery from COVID-19.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.27% by 10:37 PM ET (2:37 AM GMT), as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and Liberal Democratic Party (LPD) digested the results from Sunday’s by-elections for parliamentary seats in Hokkaido, Hiroshima and Nagano, which were won by opposition parties.

Although the LDP-led coalition kept its majority in both houses of parliament, the results are a blow ahead of the general election, which must be held by October 2021.

South Korea’s KOSPI gained 0.53% while in Australia, the ASX 200 edged down 0.11%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up 0.20%.

China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.46% and the Shenzhen Component jumped 1.18%. Chinese shares were headed towards a three-week high over indications that the recovery was on track.

On the data front, U.S. new home sales rebounded in March by 1.021 million units to their highest level since 2006. The manufacturing and service purchasing managers indexes also beat records, coming in at 62.2 and 63.1 respectively.

The 10-year Treasury yield continued to remain below the 1.6% mark on Monday.

Investors remain focused on the Fed decision, however, which is widely expected to reiterate that the central bank is not looking to withdraw its unprecedented COVID-19 support anytime soon even as signs of economic recovery from the virus emerge.

“Treasury yields have declined a little bit, they’ve taken back rate hikes in the future and we can’t really expect the Federal Reserve or other central banks to lift off so quickly, so soon given the uncertainty about the pandemic,” Medley Global Advisors global macro strategy managing director Ben Emons told Bloomberg.

Other central banks handing down decisions in the coming week include the Bank of Japan, which hands down its policy decision on Tuesday.

Corporate earnings also remain of interest to inventors, with Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), Facebook Inc . (NASDAQ:FB) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) among the companies due to release their earnings later in the week.

“If we are going to see big jumps in earnings growth for these companies this week, then I think those it’s a positive backdrop for the markets,” said Medley’s Emons.

On the COVID-19 front, India continues to grapple with a virulent wave of COVID-19, reporting a million cases over the span of three days.

Global shares went on a rollercoaster ride during the previous week as the number of global COVID-19 cases piked and U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration proposed to almost double the capital-gains tax rate for the wealthy. Biden will make his first address as president to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday.