Japan shares hit 10-week peak, S&P 500 tests 3,000
Asian shares forged ahead on Tuesday while U.S. stock futures challenged a major chart barrier as investors looked past Sino-U.S. trade tensions to more stimulus in China and a re-opening world economy.
Japan’s Nikkei led the way with a rise of 2% to its highest since early March when the economic impact of the coronavirus was just becoming clear.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 1.4%, while South Korea rose 1.1%.
While Wall Street had been shut on Monday, E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 climbed 1.3% to test the 3,000 level. EURO STOXX 50 futures added 0.6% and FTSE futures 1.8%.
Chinese blue chips firmed 0.8% after the country’s central bank said it would strengthen economic policy and continue to push to lower interest rates on loans.
While largely reiterations of past comments, they helped offset the war of words between Washington and Beijing over trade, the coronavirus, and China’s proposals for stricter security laws in Hong Kong.
European sentiment also got a lift when a survey showed German business morale rebounded in May as activity gradually returned to normal after weeks of lockdowns.
Bond investors suspect economies will still need massive amounts of central bank support long after they reopen and that is keeping yields low even as governments borrow much more.
Yields on U.S. 10-year notes were trading at 0.65% having recovered from a blip up to 0.74% last week when the market absorbed a tidal wave of new issuance.
The decline in U.S. yields might have been a burden for the dollar but with rates everywhere near or less than zero, major currencies have been holding too tight ranges.
The dollar was a fraction firmer on the yen on Monday at 107.83 but well within the 105.97 to 108.08 band that has lasted since the start of May.
The euro was a shade firmer $1.0910, having spent the month so far wandering between $1.0765 and $1.1017.
Against a basket of currencies the dollar was 0.2% lower at 99.788 but still sandwiched between support at 99.001 and resistance around 100.560.
In commodity markets, gold edged up 0.1% to $1,731 an ounce.
Oil prices were supported by falling supplies as OPEC cut production and the number of U.S. and Canadian rigs dropped to record lows for the third week running.
Brent crude futures rose 34 cents to $35.87 a barrel, while U.S. crude gained 82 cents to $34.07.