© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a face mask, following an outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), walks in front of a stock quote board outside a brokerage house in Tokyo, Japan , March 10, 2020. REUTERS / Stoyan Nenov
By Alun John
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Japanese stocks surged on Friday after officials announced Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga would step down, while the dollar was a month’s low against major peers as traders waited for data on employment in the United States with global stock markets at record highs.
Japan’s stock index hit a 30-year high and rose 1.50% for the last time after struggling Suga was announced to step down in September and fail to run for president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.
The gain of 1.87%.
“Suga’s decision not to run for the leadership of the PLD reduces the risk of a big loss in the next general election… It has relieved market participants in Japan,” said Masayuki Kichikawa, chief macro strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui (NYSE 🙂 Asset management.
Outside Japan, the largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific equities ex-Japan edged up 0.12%, with gains in Australia of 0.40% and Korea of 0.66%.
If the gains hold, the regional benchmark would show its ninth round of advances in the past 10 as it moves closer to its position in mid-July before Chinese regulatory crackdowns push prices down. actions.
However, Asian stocks are still a long way from their highs at the start of the year and are lagging behind other countries. The MSCI All Country Global Index, which ended the previous session at its fifth consecutive closing high, edged up again on Friday.
US equity futures were up 0.18%, but the pan-region was down 0.06% and futures were down 0.06%.
Chinese blue chips were down 0.20% and Hong Kong was down 0.54%, reversing the trend as traders tried to balance weaker economic data from China with the potential for future stimulus.
Activity in China’s service sector collapsed in a sharp contraction in August, a private investigation showed on Friday, affected by restrictions imposed to curb the COVID-19 Delta variant.
With other surveys this week also showing that growth in China is slowing, investors predict that Beijing will accelerate budget spending and credit growth, but that such measures will be finely targeted as the U.S. Federal Reserve prepares to cut back. its own stimulus plan.
FOCUS ON FOOD
The Fed’s intentions are also on the minds of traders on Friday, as they hope to get a better idea of when and the pace of the US downsizing after US nonfarm payroll data was released later. during the day.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has suggested that improving employment figures is the main precondition for action.
Non-farm payrolls likely increased by 750,000 jobs last month after increasing 943,000 in July, according to a Reuters survey of economists.
“Regarding the reduction, the focus is now on the labor market. If we are in the 750,000 zone, we expect a reduction announcement in September,” said Stefan Hofer, chief strategist Hong Kong-based investments at LGT private bank.
Hofer said he was focusing on leisure and hospitality jobs as they were a good indicator of the state of the recovery from the pandemic.
US Treasuries were cautious ahead of the data release, and the benchmark’s return was 1.2937% last from its US close of 1.294% on Thursday.
The dollar remained stuck at its lowest month against a basket of currencies, with the euro doing a lot of the work.
The single European currency hit its highest level since early August against the greenback early Friday in Asia, as markets begin to react to the potential for more sustained inflation in the euro area and the reduction in stimulus packages from the European Central Bank.
Oil prices fell as traders aligned their positions ahead of U.S. non-farm wages, but were set for small weekly gains.
fell 0.21% to $ 69.84 a barrel. fell 0.03% to $ 73.01 a barrel. [O/R]