Increased risk appetite lifts Asian shares after data, Fed

TOKYO Wed Mar 14, 2012 6:57am IST

1 of 2. The graphs of various market indices are displayed on an electronic board outside a brokerage in Tokyo February 15, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Yuriko Nakao/Files

Related Topics

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares rose on Wednesday as upbeat U.S. economic data boosted investors' risk appetite, while reduced expectations for further monetary easing from the Federal Reserve underpinned the dollar.

The dollar eased from a seven-week high against a basket of major currencies of 80.320 .DXY hit on Tuesday, but held near an 11-month high of 83.08 yen hit the day before.

An improved economic outlook propelled U.S. equities to multi-year highs, with the Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX closing at its highest level since June 2008, while the Dow Jones industrial average closed at its highest since December 2007.

The MSCI Asia Pacific ex-Japan index .MIAPJ0000PUS, carrying the momentum from overnight, rose 0.3 percent, while Japan's Nikkei average .N225 opened up 1.7 percent, climbing above 10,000 to a fresh seven-month high. .T

Australian shares rose 1.1 percent to a two-week high, driven by top miners and banks.

"The U.S. economic picture has clearly brightened, monetary easing efforts have increased liquidity and boosted equities worldwide and despite the fact that Japanese investors are heading into book-closing period, demand remains strong," said Hiroichi Nishi, equity general manager at SMBC Nikko Securities.

The U.S. central bank slightly upgraded its economic outlook on Tuesday, saying it expects "moderate" growth over coming quarters and a gradual decline in the unemployment rate, although it said the jobless rate "remains elevated.

U.S. retail sales posted their largest rise in five months in February, data showed on Tuesday, reflecting growing confidence by Americans to purchase goods.

In Europe, Germany's ZEW economic think tank's monthly sentiment survey jumped in March to its highest level since June 2010, confirming hopes that Europe's largest economy has recovered from a weak patch.

But the dollar's strength undermined the euro, which hovered near a one-month low of $1.3052 hit on Tuesday.

Brighter economic conditions in the world's largest economy raised hopes for stronger demand in oil and lifted prices.

Brent April crude settled at $126.22 a barrel on Tuesday, the highest close since April 8, 2011. U.S. crude inched up 0.1 percent to $106.82 a barrel.

Asian credit markets were steady early on Wednesday, with the spread on the iTraxx Asia ex-Japan investment-grade index barely changed from the day before.

(Additional reporting by Mari Saito in Tokyo; Editing by Richard Pullin)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Shares Hit Record

Sensex, Nifty rise to second consecutive record high

Sensex surges 500 points on BOJ easing, L&T gains

The BSE Sensex and Nifty surged to record highs for a second consecutive session on Friday after Bank of Japan's surprise expansion of its massive stimulus programme raised hopes for additional foreign inflows, boosting blue-chips such as Larsen & Toubro.  Full Article 

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Ban on E-Cigs?

Ban on E-Cigs?

Govt considers ban on e-cigarettes, sale of single smokes.  Full Article 

Commodities

Commodities

Silver futures in India hit four-year low on global cues.  Full Article 

BOJ Policy

BOJ Policy

BOJ shocks markets with surprise easing as inflation slows.  Full Article 

Cost Cutting

Cost Cutting

PM Narendra Modi boots officials out of the first class cabin  Full Article 

Leisure Riding

Leisure Riding

Harley-Davidson woos affluent young Indians with bike culture  Full Article 

Shadow Banking

Shadow Banking

China's shadow banking sector growing rapidly, third largest in world - FSB.  Full Article 

Moody's on India

Moody's on India

Moody's welcomes India's policy steps, but wants to see more.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage