Stocks in the Asia-Pacific region rose after U.S. equities set a fresh all-time high, with investors assessing signs that a record-breaking global rally is broadening into other sectors and away from technology.
South Korean shares outperformed, with those in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong also higher. Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 1%. S&P 500 contracts were steady after the index climbed 1.5% to hit another record with utilities and materials stocks leading the charge and technology shares lagging. The dollar was steady as the euro slid further below $1.20, a level it breached for the first time in more than two years Tuesday. Oil steadied, while gold gave back a sliver of Wednesday’s retreat.
The global stock rally has pushed major indexes to record highs as traders bet that a flood of liquidity unleashed by central banks will make its way into equity markets. The rotation away from the tech titans that have led gains this year — with Apple, Tesla and Zoom Video all slumping Wednesday — could signal confidence in a broader economic recovery from the pandemic and hopes for a vaccine.
“What we are seeing is a little bit of profit taking now in the big tech sector as people look to rebalance their portfolios going into the last part of this year,” Ann Berry, partner at Cornell Capital LLC, said on Bloomberg TV. “Folks are trying to go back to basics a little bit as we continue to see these surges and the topping out in the value of the market right now.”
Meantime, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told states to prepare for a Covid-19 vaccine to be ready by Nov. 1, an aggressive goal that suggests availability just before the presidential election. Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci warned of a potential surge in American cases from the coming long holiday weekend.
“Markets continue to show unrestrained faith in the capacity of central bank liquidity to chart a relatively smooth path for the global economy out of the Covid challenges,” said Stephen Miller, investment strategist at GSFM.
Here are some key events to watch this week:
- U.S. jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 29 are due Thursday.
- Euro-zone retail sales data for the month of July to be released on Thursday.
- U.S. jobs report Friday is forecast to show payrolls continued to rebound in August from virus lows.
Here are the main market moves:
- S&P 500 Index futures was little changed as of 11:15 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge gained 1.5% on Wednesday.
- Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.8%.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 0.3%.
- Shanghai Composite added 0.3%.
- South Korea’s Kospi index gained 1.4%.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 1%.
- Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 1%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.
- The yen was steady at 106.24 per dollar.
- The offshore yuan traded at 6.8266 per dollar, up 0.1%.
- The euro bought $1.1835, down 0.2%.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained at about 0.65%.
- Australia’s 10-year yield dropped two basis points to 0.91%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.4% to $41.66 a barrel.
- Gold gained 0.4% to $1,949.70 an ounce.