Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg
markets

Asian Stocks Round Out a Tough Quarter With Gains: Markets Wrap

Updated on
  • S&P 500 gains led by energy, tech; dollar edges lower
  • U.S. 10-year yields fell below 2.75%; oil rose toward $65

Asian stocks followed their U.S. counterparts higher on Friday, finishing the quarter on a positive note after waves of volatility shook investor confidence in the synchronous global expansion that proved so profitable last year.

The dollar slipped in subdued trading, with much of Asia joining the U.S. and Europe in market closures Friday. Stocks in Tokyo and Seoul rose, while those in Shanghai were little changed. The S&P 500 Index closed higher Thursday and 10-year Treasury yields fell below 2.75 percent after data showed U.S. consumer spending lagged behind income growth for a second month in February.

Investors were still awaiting details on U.S. plans for tariffs on China, amid concerns about an escalation in trade tensions that could disrupt global supply chains and hurt the outlook for corporate earnings. But a Trump administration announcement will come too late to affect major markets Friday, given the closures. Many European countries are also out on Monday.

“Let’s get out of this quarter and take a breather,” said Rich Guerrini, the chief executive officer of PNC Investments. “We need some market stability at this point and hopefully we get to some calmer waters.”

Ben Laidler, global equity strategist at HSBC Securities, discusses first-quarter volatility.

Source: Bloomberg

Elsewhere, Bitcoin fluctuated around $7,000.

Terminal users can read more in our markets live blog.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.5 percent as of 4:05 p.m. Tokyo time, leaving it down 0.5 percent for the quarter.
  • Japan’s Topix index rose 0.7 percent, leaving it down 5.6 percent for the quarter.
  • The Kospi index rose 0.4 percent.
  • The Shanghai Composite index rose 0.3 percent.
  • The MSCI All Country World Index was down 1.3 percent for the quarter, the first losing one since the start of 2016.


Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1 percent.
  • The Japanese yen rose 0.2 percent to 106.19 per dollar.
  • The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.2318.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was unchanged at 2.74 percent Thursday, up more than 33 basis points for the quarter.
  • Japan’s 10-year yield rose less than one basis point to 0.043 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9 percent to $64.94 a barrel Thursday.
  • Gold fell less than 0.05 percent to $1,325.48 an ounce Thursday.
  • LME copper increased 0.7 percent to $6,714.00 per metric ton Thursday.
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