Asia, Daily Dose

Asian Stocks Gain on Rate Outlook; Eyes on US Jobs – Asia Market Wrap

Asian shares climbed on dovish signals from the US and European central banks, with the US jobs report due later Friday. The yen extended its climb.

Stocks rose from Australia to Hong Kong, bringing a regional index up for a third day. Mainland Chinese shares varied. The larger gain occurred after the S&P 500 Index established a record and the Nasdaq 100 rose 1.6% on Thursday. US futures were steady to slightly lower in Asian trading.

The yen strengthened against the dollar for the fourth day in a row, as anticipation rose that the Bank of Japan would raise interest rates for the first time since 2007. The dollar index was slightly lower, but Treasuries held steady after yields fell Thursday.

The greater risk appetite came after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told a Senate committee on Thursday that the central bank is “not far” from having the confidence to loosen policy. He stated that rate cuts “can and will begin” this year, emphasising that policymakers are well aware of the consequences of lowering too late. Meanwhile, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde suggested that policymakers may be able to relax policy in June.