Asian stocks off two-month lows as Wall St extends rebound

A man walks past an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo February 9, 2018. — Reuters picA man walks past an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo February 9, 2018. — Reuters picTOKYO, Feb 13 — Asian stocks pulled further away from two-month lows today, lifted by ’s extended rebound from last week’s steep fall.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia- shares outside Japan was up 0.3 per cent after sliding to its lowest level since Dec 11 on Friday.

Australian stocks rose 0.2 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.9 per cent. Japan’s Nikkei added 0.75 per cent.

Wall Street’s three major indexes rose for the second day yesterday as investors regained some confidence after US had their biggest weekly drop in two years.

Still, caution lingered in the broader markets following the US-led tumble in risk assets last week.

“It is hard at this stage to tell if the US markets have bottomed out, considering that bets against the dollar still remain significant,” said Kota Hirayama, senior emerging markets economist at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo.

“On the other hand, attempts by investors to pull money out of the emerging markets during last week’s turmoil appeared to have been unexpectedly limited, so that is an encouraging sign.”

The index against a basket of six major currencies extended modest losses suffered overnight and dipped 0.1 per cent to 90.093. The dollar index edged back from a two-week high of 90.567 scaled late last week, when it had benefited as a safe haven in the wake of the global market selloff.

The greenback was steady at 108.680 yen. The euro was flat at US$1.2294.

The Australian dollar slipped 0.15 per cent to US$0.7851 after rising about 0.6 per cent overnight on the back of higher commodity prices.

Copper prices bounced back from two-month lows overnight as more stable global markets encouraged investors to return to commodities.

The US dollar’s pullback from two-week highs also helped commodities. A lower greenback favours non-US buyers by reducing the price of dollar-denominated commodities.

US crude futures were 0.2 per cent higher at US$59.42 (RM234.84) per barrel.

Spot rose 0.5 per cent to US$1.322.46 an ounce. — Reuters

Source: The Malay Mail Online

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