Asian markets follow US lead with gains

Asian markets follow US lead with gains

When trading kicked off in Asia, Tokyo was up by more than one percent
When trading kicked off in Asia, Tokyo was up by more than one percent. Photo: Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP
Source: AFP

Asian markets posted modest gains in early Thursday trade, rebounding from previous losses after a strong lead from Wall Street.

The US markets finished Wednesday higher, snapping a three-day losing streak, with the tech-rich Nasdaq closing up 1.4 percent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 also closed higher, while European indices ended little changed.

When trading kicked off in Asia, Tokyo was up by more than one percent, and Hong Kong was up by just over 0.3 percent.

Singapore and Seoul were also up, while markets in mainland China were closed for a week-long holiday.

The 10-year US Treasury note, which hit a 16-year peak on Tuesday, had retreated following a lacklustre US hiring report.

The note is a closely watched proxy for interest rates, and the recent surge comes amid fears the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates elevated for longer.

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"We are going all in on long-duration, high-grade bonds," Adam Coons, chief portfolio manager at Winthrop Capital Management, told Bloomberg Television.

"We are really at an inflection point where interest rates in the US just can't go up that much higher."

The easing of Treasury yields was helped by economic data that prompted traders to scale back forecasts for Federal Reserve tightening this year.

All eyes will be on Friday's release of employment figures, with the overall health of the economy factoring in Fed rate decisions.

Key figures around 0300 GMT

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 1.18 percent at 30,886.51 (break)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.36 percent at 17,257.85

Shanghai - Composite: Closed for a holiday

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.0522 from $1.0461 Wednesday

Pound/dollar: UP at 1.2156 from $1.2065

Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.56 pence from 86.71 pence

Dollar/yen: DOWN at 148.45 yen from 149.28 yen

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Brent North Sea crude: UP 0.5 percent at $84.63 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: UP 0.6 percent at $86.31 per barrel

New York - Dow: UP 0.4 percent at 33,129.55 points (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.8 percent at 7,412.45 (close)

Source: AFP

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