WASHINGTON: Asian stocks will likely climb on Thursday after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rallied to fresh records on upbeat corporate results, while the dollar eased a day before the U.S. Federal Reserve possibly sets a new course on inflation.
A gauge of global equity markets, MSCI’s all-country world index surged past the pre-COVID high reached in February as technology stocks jumped after Salesforce.com Inc raised its annual revenue forecast on surging demand for the company’s online business software.
Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures rose 0.25% in early trading.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures fell 0.04%, while the Nikkei 225 index closed the overnight session down 0.03% at 23,290.86????.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures were up 0.12%.
Shares of big companies like Apple Inc, Alphabet Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp, which influence the broader market because of their sheer size, were all higher.
“Your three highest sectors are all the mega-cap tech and tech-related stocks,” said Joseph Sroka, chief investment officer at NovaPoint in Atlanta. “So that notion of large-cap tech leading the market is in play today.”
“There’s this confidence that regardless of what happens with COVID, these companies have proven that they’re open for business,” he said.
Adding to the upbeat mood was an analysis of early-stage data from Moderna Inc’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine that showed the vaccine induced immune responses in older adults similar to those for younger participants.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 83.48 points, or 0.3%, to 28,331.92, the S&P 500 gained 35.11 points, or 1.02%, at 3,478.73.
The Nasdaq Composite index added 198.59 points, or 1.73%, at 11,665.06.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.91% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe gained 0.89%.
Better-than-expected economic data in Europe has lifted analysts’ earnings expectations, driving regional bourses higher. Benchmark indexes in Frankfurt, Paris and London closed up 0.98%, 0.80% and 0.14%, respectively.
Emerging market stocks rose 0.41%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan closed 0.38% higher.
Oil prices traded little changed, pressured by worries about the demand outlook during the coronavirus pandemic but buoyed as U.S. producers shut output in the Gulf of Mexico ahead of Hurricane Laura.
Producers evacuated 310 offshore facilities and shut 1.56 million barrels per day of crude output, 84% of Gulf of Mexico’s offshore production – near the 90% outage that Hurricane Katrina brought 15 years ago.
The dollar index fell 0.175%, with the euro up 0.07% at $1.1837.
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