Asian markets rise after US record

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HONG KONG: Asian stock markets mostly rose again on Monday following another record close on Wall Street, but gains were tempered by profit-taking following last week’s global rally.

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Expectations that central banks around the world will introduce fresh stimulus for their economies lit a fire under equities and high-risk assets last week, while confidence was further boosted by another round of upbeat US data.

Official figures Friday showed US retail sales beating forecasts, reinforcing the view that
the world’s number one economy is getting back on track. The report came a week after a blockbuster reading on June jobs creation.

The impressive figures have raised the possibility of a Federal Reserve interest rate rise before the end of the year—something considered highly unlikely in the immediate aftermath of Britain’s decision to leave the EU, which initially sent world markets tumbling.

“The market is pricing in a greater probability of a Fed rate hike in 2016,” said Stephen Innes, senior trader at OANDA Asia Pacific.

“To be exact, US interest rate futures are pricing in a 40 percent chance of a 25 [point]hike in December. The accelerator has been an intense round of US data on the heels of strong June employment figures.”

Hong Kong added 0.7 percent, taking its rally to six straight days, but Shanghai ended down 0.4 percent. Friday’s better-than-expected Chinese economic growth reading could not maintain buyers’ interest.

Seoul added 0.2 percent and Sydney rose 0.5 percent, while Singapore put on 0.4 percent and Taipei 0.7 percent.

Tokyo was closed for a public holiday.

In early European trade London dipped 0.2 percent, Frankfurt added 0.1 percent and Paris gained 0.6 percent.

The broadly positive outlook sent the dollar rising to 105.80 yen from 104.79 yen Friday in New York. The pound, which has been under pressure since the shock June 23 Brexit vote, also made inroads after hitting a 31-year low earlier in the month.

On Monday it edged up to $1.3252 from $1.3174.

Turkey’s lira also climbed after an attempted coup failed at the weekend, rising 2.7 percent against the greenback.

The uprising started two hours before trade in the currency stopped for the weekend, sending the lira plunging 4.6 percent.

In company news Japanese mobile phone giant SoftBank said Monday it had agreed a $32-billion deal to buy British chipmaker ARM, which supplies parts to Apple for its iPhone.

AFP

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