Stocks in Asia set to climb after US markets rally on strong earnings

FAN Editor

Asian markets were poised for gains on Wednesday, tracking the firmer lead from Wall Street. U.S. stocks on Tuesday extended the previous day’s gains as investors cheered the release of strong quarterly earnings.

The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 0.87 percent, or 213.59 points, to 24,786.63, the S&P 500 rose 1.07 percent to close at 2,706.39 and the Nasdaq composite jumped 1.74 percent to end at 7,281.10.

Netflix, Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth were among the U.S. corporates announcing robust first-quarter earnings earlier amid upbeat investor expectations. S&P 500 earnings are expected to increase 18.6 percent in the quarter compared to one year ago, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

European markets also advanced in the last session, with the pan-European STOXX 600 finishing higher by 0.8 percent.

Futures tipped a higher open for equities in Australia and Japan after stocks in the region mostly drifted lower on Tuesday.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were up 0.45 percent at 21,945 compared to the index’s previous close. Australian SPI futures, meanwhile, were up 0.41 percent.

Investors in the region are also likely to focus on overnight developments on the trade front after China said on Tuesday it would impose deposits on U.S. sorghum imports: Several U.S. companies will be asked to put up a deposit of up to 178.6 percent on sorghum imports, Reuters said, adding that China said the move was temporary.

Trade developments also reflected “a bit of give and take,” ANZ analysts said, as Beijing also announced plans to relax foreign ownership rules in the car market.

In corporate news, miner Rio Tinto announced Pilbara iron ore shipments rose to 80.3 million tons in the first quarter, a 5 percent increase from one year ago. Pilbara shipments this year are expected to remain between 330 and 340 million tons, the company said.

The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, edged higher to 89.516 by the end of Tuesday after previously tumbling to a three-week low earlier in the week.

Against the yen, the dollar traded at 107.03 at 7:02 a.m. HK/SIN as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met with U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday.

On the commodities front, U.S. West Texas Intermediate settled 30 cents higher at $66.52 per barrel and Brent crude futures rose 16 cents to settle at $71.58.

Here’s the economic calendar for Wednesday (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 9:30 a.m.: China house price index
  • 12:00 p.m.: Malaysia consumer price index

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