Asia stocks edge up as U.S. earnings prop up Wall St, dollar solid

Asia stocks edge up as U.S. earnings prop up Wall St, dollar solid

By Shinichi Saoshiro

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian stocks edged up on Thursday as robust corporate earnings helped Wall Street quell concerns over a surge in U.S. bond yields, while the dollar hovered near three-month highs against a basket of currencies.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> edged up 0.09 percent.

Australian stocks were flat and Japan's Nikkei <.N225> rose 0.4 percent. South Korea's KOSPI <.KS11> climbed 0.5 percent.

The Dow <.DJI> rose 0.25 percent overnight, ending a five-day losing streak, and the S&P 500 <.SPX> gained 0.18 percent on optimism over a spate of upbeat earnings that managed to offset jitters over rising U.S. bond yields. [.N]

The spike to a four-year peak above 3 percent in the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield this week - a benchmark for global borrowing costs - had weighed on stocks amid concerns rising corporate borrowing costs could dampen profits.

Nonetheless the broader equity market reaction to the latest jump in U.S. yields appeared to be more measured compared to February, when a similar spike in rates sent stocks tumbling.

"The equity markets slid sharply in January and March in response to the rise in Treasury yields. But the Federal Reserve signalled in March that its rate hikes would be gradual," said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management in Tokyo.

"Expectations towards U.S. rate hikes being gradual are enabling equities to take the current yield rise in stride."

The 10-year Treasury note yield rose to 3.035 percent overnight, its highest since January 2014. The yield has climbed on expectations of a steady U.S. economic expansion, accelerating inflation and concerns about increasing debt supply.

The dollar has drawn support from the higher U.S. yields, with its index against a basket of six major currencies <.DXY> last up 0.05 percent at 91.210 and within reach of 91.261, a three-month peak scaled on Wednesday.

The greenback has risen without pause through much of the past week as concerns over a U.S.-China trade dispute receded, allowing the market to turn its attention back to dollar-supportive fundamentals.

The euro fetched $1.2169 after sliding to a 1-1/2-month low of $1.2160.

The dollar was steady at 109.420 yen after going as high as 109.490, its strongest since Feb. 8.

Crude oil prices were up amid the prospect of fresh sanctions on Iran and concerns about output from Venezuela. [O/R]

U.S. crude futures were 0.3 percent higher at $68.24 a barrel.

(Reporting by Shinichi Saoshiro; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.


Updated Date: Apr 26, 2018 07:05 AM

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