Asian Stocks Surge Thanks to Wall Street, China Trade Data
- Asian stock rose, largely on Wall St. gains but also on China’s astonishing trade figures
- The US Dollar gained as well, buoyed up by hope for President Trump’s tax policy
- Japan’s Nikkei led the gains
Asian markets rose on Friday as they were always likely to do given Thursday’s Wall Street boost, which was in turn thanks to US President Donald Trump’s rather cryptic promise of a “phenomenal” tax plan.
The US Dollar also gained against a basket of widely-traded rivals, with the Dollar Index now near 100.70 having been below 100 this week. Asia/Pacific stocks also got a boost from events closer to home with China’s January trade data. This smashed all forecasts out of the park, with Yuan-denominated imports looking particularly impressing having risen by an astonishing 25.2% compared to a year earlier.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 led the region higher, closing up nearly 2.5%. The weaker Yen worked its reliable bullish magic on this exporter-heavy index. Hopes for some trans-Pacific amity this weekend when Trump meets Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe also helped.
Australia’s ASX managed a less-impressive 1% gain, perhaps stymied a little by the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Statement on Monetary Policy. This had something for everyone, but perhaps most importantly for near-term trade, it contained a cut to growth forecasts for the year’s first half.
Elsewhere, benchmark crude oil prices added about 0.1% but gold slipped back. This wasn’t a session in which haven assets were obviously required. The rest of the day’s scheduled economic news focuses on three countries. One is the UK, from whence will come industrial and manufacturing data – always closely watched and even more so since the Brexit vote.
Another is Canada, where official employment data are due. January’s jobless rate is expected to hold steady at 6.9%. Then we have the US. From there will come the University of Michigan’s monthly look at consumer sentiment.
Rating agency Moody’s review of Italy and Franceis also on the markets’ radar. No movement is expected but given how far other European yields have diverged from Germany’s in recent sessions, markets might still be relieved if none comes.
It may be your favorite currency, but is it anyone else’s? Take a look at the DailyFX sentiment page.
--- Written by David Cottle, DailyFX Research
Contact and follow David on Twitter: @DavidCottleFX
DailyFX provides forex news and technical analysis on the trends that influence the global currency markets.