Asia shares climb as investors look to China for recovery lead

Reuters SYDNEY/HONG KONG | Updated on January 19, 2021

Nikkei bounces, S&P 500 futures steady from pullback

Asian shares climbed on Tuesday as investors wagered China's economic strength would help underpin growth in the region, even as pandemic lockdowns threatened to lengthen the road to recovery in the West.

Data out on Monday had confirmed the world's second-largest economy was one of the few to grow over 2020 and actually picked up speed as the year closed.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan firmed 0.98%, to be a whisker from record highs.

Japan's Nikkei bounced 1.5%, recovering all the losses suffered on Monday when caution had dominated markets.

Australian shares climbed 1.25% as investors bet on news that Queensland state was set to lift virus-led restrictions and on prospects of better production numbers fromlocal miners, helped by improved industrial activity in topconsumer China.

Chinese blue-chips remained flat while Hong Kong's Hang Sengadvanced 1.8%.

US market

US stocks also looked a little steadier as futures for the S&P 500 added 0.51% and NASDAQ futures 0.59%.

Analysts at JP Morgan felt the coming earnings season could brighten the mood given the consensus in Europe was for a fall of 25% year-on-year, setting a very low bar.

"The projected EPS growth in Europe now stands at the lows of the crisis which seems too conservative, and could likely lead to positive surprises over the reporting season," theywrote in a note.

The same could be true for the United States where results from BofA, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Netflix are due this week.

For now, dealers were cautious ahead of US President-electJoe Biden's inauguration given the risk of more mob violence,along with doubts about how much of his fiscal stimulus package will pass Republican opposition in Congress.

Wall Street is also bracing for tougher regulations now that the Democrats control the Senate, with Biden set to nominate two consumer champions to top financial agencies.

In bond markets, 10-year Treasury yields weresteady at 1.10% and off their recent 10-month high of 1.187% as investors waited to see how much fiscal stimulus might actuallyget passed.

Currencies were also quiet with the dollar index last at 90.684, comfortably above its recent trough of 89.206.

The euro idled at $1.2095, after touching a six-week low of $1.2052 overnight, while the dollar was sidelined on the safe-haven yen at 103.89.

.Global demand concerns kept oil prices in check. U.S. crude fell 0.1% to $52.29 a barrel, while Brent crude futures rose 0.48% to $55.02 a barrel.

Published on January 19, 2021

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