Asian Futures Tip More Stock Gains as Rate Outlook Fuels Rebound

The global stock rally that saw U.S. equities cap their longest advance this year looked set to continue in Asia, with index futures from Japan to Hong Kong signaling further gains. The dollar and the yen maintained losses.

Futures on stock gauges in Tokyo and Seoul climbed more than 1 percent in recent trade, with speculation the Federal Reserve will hold off raising interest rates until 2016 boosting riskier assets, and helping the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to its fifth day of gains. Australia’s dollar hovered near a two-week high before the central bank there reviews already record-low borrowing costs, while U.S. oil held above $ 46 a barrel.

Stocks have been rallying since capping their worst quarter in four years, as unexpected weakness in the U.S. labor market pushes out the probable timeline for rate increases. Odds the Federal Reserve will pull the trigger on tightening this month have fallen to 10 percent, suppressing the dollar while bolstering assets in emerging and riskier markets that have benefited from the era of cheaper money. Global equity values have climbed back above $ 60 trillion this month after almost $ 10 trillion was erased last quarter.

Futures on Japanese indexes foreshadowed similar gains for stocks there, with contracts on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average bid up 1.4 percent in the Osaka pre-market, to 18,320. Yen-denominated futures on the index traded in Chicago dropped 0.2 percent to 18,330 after jumping 2.7 percent in the previous session.

In Australia, where markets didn’t settle Monday, the S&P/ASX 200 Index surged of 1.2 percent Tuesday, while futures on South Korea’s Kospi index added 1.1 percent. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index, the first major stock gauge to start trading each day in the Asia-Pacific region, climbed 0.7 percent in a third day of gains.

Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index increased 1.2 percent in recent trading, rising with contracts on the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, a gauge of mainland equities listed in the city. Mainland Chinese markets remain closed through Wednesday for the week-long National Day holidays.

Source : Bloomberg

MARKET

U.S. Stocks Decline as Payrolls Report Fuels Rate Speculation

U.S. stocks fell, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index heading for a second straight weekly loss, as better-than-forecast jobs data fueled speculation the Federal Reserve is moving closer to raising interest rates.

The S&P 500 fell 0.4 percent to 2,091.87 at 9:33 a.m. in New York. The equity gauge is down 0.6 percent for the week.

Employers added more jobs than forecast in February and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 percent, the lowest in almost seven years, showing the labor market is sustaining progress after the best annual performance in 15 years.

The 295,000 advance in payrolls last month followed a 239,000 January increase that was smaller than previously reported, figures from the Labor Department showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for a 235,000 increase. The unemployment rate fell from 5.7 percent while hourly earnings rose less than forecast.

Source : Bloomberg

MARKET