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Asian shares rise as U.S. earnings bolster Wall Street

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04/27/2018 | 02:56am CEST
Market prices are reflected in a glass window at the TSE in Tokyo

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Asian shares edged higher on Friday, after U.S. equities were buoyed by solid quarterly earnings and a rebound in technology stocks, while the euro languished near three-month lows after the European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.MIAPJ0000PUS> rose 0.3 percent.

Japan's Nikkei <.N225> gained 0.4 percent, while South Korea's KOSPI <.KS11> climbed 1.1 percent.

U.S. stocks advanced on Thursday with each of Wall Street's major indexes ending the session up 1 percent or higher, while Amazon.com Inc shares jumped more than 6 percent in after-market trading after the online retailer reported a 43 percent surge in first-quarter revenue.

The S&P 500 rose 1 percent, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1.6 percent.

Facebook surged 9.1 percent after posting an impressive earnings beat, which appeared to calm worries about the fallout from its use of consumer data.

So far, 45 percent of S&P 500 companies have reported first-quarter earnings, with 79.7 percent beating consensus estimates. Analysts see 23.1 percent earnings growth for the quarter, based on a blend of actual and estimated results.

The yield on U.S. 10-year Treasuries <US10YT=RR> closed below the 3 percent level on Thursday as buyers emerged following a sell-off fueled by worries over growing U.S. debt issuance and rising costs.

The 10-year Treasury yield's spike to four-year highs above 3 percent this week had weighed on equities, amid concerns that rising corporate borrowing costs could dampen profits.

In currency markets, the euro languished near a 3-1/2-month low after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi hailed "solid" euro zone growth but kept interest rates unchanged.

The euro held steady at $1.2105 <EUR=>. On Thursday it touched a low of $1.20965, its lowest level since Jan. 12.

Weaker-than-expected economic data out of the euro zone has cast some doubt as to how quickly the ECB can head toward policy normalization and weighed on the euro recently.

"The euro zone's economy doesn't seem to have the type of momentum it had last year," said Satoshi Okagawa, senior global markets analyst for Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation in Singapore.

The euro has shed roughly 1.5 percent this week, after a rise in U.S. Treasury yields fired up dollar-buying and encouraged some to question whether the euro's rally since last year had run out of steam.

The dollar stood at 91.591 <.DXY> against a basket of six major currencies, trading near a 3-1/2 month high of 91.637 struck on Thursday.

Against the yen, the dollar held steady at 109.29 yen <JPY=>, having pulled back from a 2-1/2 month high of 109.49 yen set on Thursday.

The Bank of Japan is not expected to change settings its policy decision expected at around 0330-0500 GMT on Friday, although the debut of a dovish new deputy could widen a rift between advocates of continued stimulus and those wary of the rising costs of prolonged easing.

Oil prices gained on Thursday as the risk of renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran, plunging Venezuelan output, and robust global demand shook off the effects of a strong dollar.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures gained 1 percent on Thursday to settle at $74.74 a barrel.

(Reporting by Masayuki Kitano; Editing by Sam Holmes)

By Masayuki Kitano

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMAZON.COM 3.96% 1517.96 Delayed Quote.24.86%
DJ INDUSTRIAL 0.99% 24322.34 Delayed Quote.-2.57%
FACEBOOK 9.06% 174.16 Delayed Quote.-9.50%
KOSPI COMPOSITE INDEX 1.33% 2474.09 Real-time Quote.0.21%
NASDAQ 100 2.08% 6649.6537 Delayed Quote.1.76%
NASDAQ COMP. 1.64% 7118.6774 Delayed Quote.3.26%
NIKKEI 225 0.47% 22319.61 Real-time Quote.-2.14%
S&P 500 1.04% 2666.94 Real-time Quote.-1.46%
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