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Fed, Wall Street

Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher ahead of Fed meeting

Asian stocks follow Wall Street higher ahead of Fed meeting

16/3/2021 7:21:00 AM

Asia n stocks follow Wall Street higher ahead of Fed meeting

Asia n stocks were set to open higher on Tuesday after Wall Street 's main indexes closed at record highs and investors awaited comments from the U.S.

BookmarkTOKYO/NEW YORK: Asian stocks rose on Tuesday, tracking an advance by Wall Street's main indexes to record highs, as investors looked to key central bank meetings this week, starting with the U.S. Federal Reserve.An index of the region's share markets excluding Japan strengthened 0.7per cent, led by a 1.2per cent jump in Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index.

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AdvertisementAdvertisementJapan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.6per cent to just below the closely watched 30,000 mark, while the broader Topix added 0.5per cent.China's blue chip CSI 300 index climbed 0.7per cent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.7per cent.

On Monday, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both soared on gains in travel stocks as mass vaccinations in the United States and congressional approval of a US$1.9 trillion aid bill fueled investor optimism.E-mini futures for the S&P 500 edged up 0.06per cent. headtopics.com

AdvertisementAdvertisementInvestors are focused on the Fed's two-day policy meeting, which will conclude on Wednesday, as bond yields have surged this year on investors betting central bankers will need to raise rates sooner than they have so far signaled to contain inflation. Fed policymakers are expected to forecast that the U.S. economy will grow in 2021 by the fastest rate in decades.

The Bank of England also meets this week on Thursday, while the Bank of Japan wraps up a two-day gathering on Friday."Markets are likely to be in a holding pattern ahead of this...heavy central bank-laden week," write analysts at TD Securities.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 174.82 points, or 0.53per cent, to 32,953.46, the S&P 500 gained 25.6 points, or 0.65per cent, to 3,968.94 and the Nasdaq Composite added 139.84 points, or 1.05per cent, to 13,459.71.Advertisement

Airline shares rose as the companies pointed to concrete signs of an industry recovery as vaccine rollouts help spur leisure bookings.Germany, France and Italy hit pause on AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots after several countries reported possible serious side effects. headtopics.com

COVID-19: Singapore tightens border measures with Taiwan; Singaporean, PR travellers to serve 21-day stay-home notice COVID-19: 271 imported cases from S Asia over past 28 days, B1617 variant a global problem – MOH Household members can go out in groups of more than 2 for 'essential activities': Ong Ye Kung

The development will be watched in Australia, where the vaccine is also administered.The pan-European STOXX 600 index was flat on Monday, after touching its highest level since February 2020.Longer-term U.S. Treasury yields slipped further on Tuesday, as the market looked ahead to the Fed meeting and the latest government debt auctions.

The benchmark 10-year yield, which reached a more than one-year high of 1.642per cent last week, was back at 1.595per centRising inflation expectations could prompt the Federal Open Market Committee to signal it will start raising rates sooner than expected.

In currencies, the U.S. dollar held small gains from overnight in muted price action ahead of the central bank meetings.The greenback was largely flat at 109.165 yen, after rising as high as 109.365 on Monday for the first time since June.The euro was little changed at US$1.19320, languishing for an eighth session below the closely watched US$1.20 level.

Bitcoin continued its slide from a record high of US$61,781.83 reached on Saturday, last trading 3per cent weaker on the day at around US$53,915.U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for April changed hands at US$64.79 a barrel, down 60 cents. Brent crude futures for May stood at US$68.21 a barrel, losing 67 cents. headtopics.com

(Reporting by Kevin Buckland and Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Jacqueline Wong) Read more: CNA »

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