Market Overview

Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher ahead of Fed meeting

Asian stocks rose on Tuesday, tracking Wall Street’s advance to record highs, as investors anticipated the U.S. Federal Reserve and other central banks meeting this week will keep policies accommodative to help drive a post-pandemic global economic recovery. European shares looked set to extend the global rally, with pan-region Euro Stoxx 50 futures up 0.2% and FTSE futures 0.5% higher in early deals. On Monday, the STOXX 600 index touched its highest level in more than a year before ending flat. E-mini futures for the S&P 500 edged up 0.04%. An index of Asia-Pacific share markets excluding Japan strengthened 0.69%, led by a 1.2% jump in Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index. Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.5% to just below the closely watched 30,000 mark, while the broader Topix added 0.65%. China’s blue chip CSI 300 index climbed 0.55%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.46%.

On Monday, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both soared on gains in travel stocks as mass vaccinations in the United States and congressional approval of a $1.9 trillion aid bill fueled investor optimism. Longer-term U.S. Treasury yields slipped further on Tuesday, as the market looked ahead to government debt auctions and the Fed’s two-day policy meeting, which will conclude on Wednesday. The benchmark 10-year yield, which reached a more than one-year high of 1.642% last week, was back at 1.125%.

Fed policymakers are expected to forecast that the U.S. economy will grow in 2021 by the fastest rate in decades, as it recovers from a coronavirus-stricken 2020. The Bank of England also meets this week on Thursday, while the Bank of Japan wraps up a two-day gathering on Friday. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 174.82 points, or 0.53%, to 32,953.46, the S&P 500 gained 25.6 points, or 0.65%, to 3,968.94 and the Nasdaq Composite remained unchanged to 0.00. The euro was little changed at $1.1930, languishing for an eighth session below the closely watched $1.20 level.

Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher ahead of Fed meeting, Reuters, Mar 16

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