Asian stock markets rise to 2-month high
October 15 2015 08:07 PM
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An investor smiles in front of an electronic board showing stock information at a brokerage house in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Shanghai shares advanced 1.4% yesterday on latest round of hopes that Beijing would launch stimulus to shore up the economy.

Reuters/Tokyo

Asian shares rose to 2-month high yesterday and the dollar struggled near multi-week lows after weak US economic data added to expectations that the Federal Reserve will delay hiking interest rates.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.9% to its highest since mid-August.
Spread betters saw the lift for equities being maintained into Europe, forecasting a higher open for Britain’s FTSE, Germany’s DAX and France’s CAC.
Australian shares nudged up 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi soared 1.2% while Shanghai shares advanced 1.4% on latest round of hopes that Beijing would launch stimulus to shore up the economy.
“There seem to be considerable expectations of further economic stimulus, which could mitigate some of deflationary pressures,” said Gerry Alfonso, analyst at Shenwan Hongyuan Securities.
Japan’s Nikkei pared earlier losses and gained 1.3%, brushing off soft domestic data.
Japanese manufacturers’ confidence worsened for the second straight month in October and is expected to fade going forward, a Reuters poll showed, adding to lingering fears of a recession and keeping policymakers under pressure to deploy fresh stimulus.
The prospect of a delayed rate hike boosted US Treasuries, which saw the benchmark 10-year note yield fall to a 6-month low of 1.85%.
The dollar fetched 119.01 yen after hitting a 5-week low of 118.56 yen. The euro stood near a 7-week high of $1.1489.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars rallied versus the greenback as well with the kiwi flying to a 3-month peak of $0.6846. As a result the dollar index hovered close to 93.845, its lowest since late August.  The pound traded near a 3-week high of $1.5495 struck overnight, when it soared 1.5% on upbeat British employment data.
US crude oil struggled amid lingering concerns of a global supply glut.
Expectations of more Iranian supply following a nuclear deal and concerns that economic worries in China and Europe will weigh on demand have pressured oil this month.  US crude was down 0.3% at $46.51 a barrel, although a weaker dollar helped slow its decline. Brent fared a little better, edging up 0.2% to $49.30 a barrel.



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