Asia stocks trade higher as hopes rise for more easing from the Fed

  • Asia Pacific stocks traded higher in the morning.
  • Overnight stateside, the major indexes saw their first gains in three sessions.
  • New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said Thursday the central bank needed to"act quickly" when the economy was slowing and rates were low.

Stocks in Asia Pacific traded higher on Friday morning, as comments from a U.S. Federal Reserve official led to rising expectations the central bank could ease monetary policy more than expected.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan added in the 0.52% in early trade, as shares of semiconductor equipment manufacturer Tokyo Electron surged 2.67%. The Topix index also rose 0.52%.

In South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.7%, as shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics advanced 1.41%.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 also rose 0.18%, as gold miners saw strong gains with shares of Newcrest Mining, Evolution Mining and Alacer Gold jumping at least 3% each.

Asia-Pacific Market Indexes Chart

Overnight stateside, the major indexes saw their first gains in three sessions. The S&P 500 closed 0.4% higher at 2,995.11, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3% to 8,207.24. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished the trading day stateside higher by 3.12 points at 27,222.97.

New York Federal Reserve President John Williams said Thursday the central bank needed to"act quickly" when the economy was slowing and rates were low. "It's better to take preventative measures than to wait for disaster to unfold," he said in a speech.

Traders increased their bets on Thursday that the Fed could cut even deeper later this month.

For its part, the New York Federal Reserve clarified Williams' comments by saying they were not indicative of the Fed's future moves.

Oil and currencies

Tensions in the Middle East heated up further on Thursday, with U.S. President Donald Trump saying an American Navy ship had destroyed an Iranian done in a"defensive action. " The announcement came hours after Iranian forces seized a foreign tanker it accused of smuggling oil.

Oil prices, however, saw sharp declines on Thursday, amid expectations of rising crude output in the Gulf of Mexico following last week's hurricane in the region.

In the morning of Asian trading hours on Friday, oil prices bounced back. The international benchmark Brent crude futures contract jumped 1.39% to $62.79 per barrel, while U.S. crude futures advanced 1.03% to $55.87 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.823 after dropping from levels above 97.2 yesterday.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.34 against the dollar after strengthening from levels above 107.6 in the previous session, while the Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7072 after rising from levels below $0.704 yesterday.

Here is a look at some of the data set to be released in the day ahead:

  • Hong Kong: Business confidence at 4:30 p.m. HK/SIN
  • Philippines: Central bank inflation report

Source: Read Full Article