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Asian stocks extend global rally to 7th day, U.S. stimulus in focus

Asian stocks extend global rally to 7th day, U.S. stimulus in focus

Asian stocks put global equities on course for a seventh day of gains on Friday as investors bet the U.S. will lead the world out of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the focus turning to a multi-trillion dollar spending boost by the Biden administration. Tokyo led the advance, with the Nikkei jumping 1.9% early in the session. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.3%, hitting its highest level this month, though Chinese blue chips slipped 0.1% just after the open.

The MSCI world equity index added 0.1% to 709.71, nearing the all-time closing high of 710.36 set on May 7. U.S. stocks were also poised for further gains after the S&P 500’s 0.1% rise overnight, with futures pointing to a 0.3% increase at the open. On Thursday, data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to the lowest since mid-March 2020, with companies desperate for workers to meet surging demand unleashed by a rapidly reopening economy. read more

This week, multiple Fed officials have come out again to calm those jitters amid growing evidence of price pressures, though they also signalled a possible start to talks to taper stimulus. The Fed’s vice chair for supervision, Randal Quarles, said on Thursday that he was “fully committed” to keeping monetary policy running full-throttle while jobs recover, while laying out the case that “upside” risks to inflation may be mounting.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.3%. The dollar hovered near a one-week high versus major peers as traders looked to the upcoming inflation report for direction. The dollar index sat at 90.097 on Friday, after touching 90.179 the previous session for the first time since May 20. Oil prices extended gains from Thursday, bolstered by strong U.S. economic data that offset investors’ concerns about the potential for a rise in Iranian supplies. Brent rose 20 cents, or 0.3%, to $69.66 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude added 34 cents, or 0.5%, to $67.19 a barrel.

Asian stocks extend global rally to 7th day, U.S. stimulus in focus, Reuters, May 28

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