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Asia shares get technology boost, crude near two-year top

Posted by: Admin | Posted on: October 30th, 2017 | 0 Comments

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares climbed on Monday, as technology stocks were bolstered by solid earnings from U.S. tech stalwarts and on strong pre-orders for Apple’s iPhone X, while oil hovered around a 2-year peak on supply fears.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) said pre-orders for the 10th anniversary iPhone X, which started on Friday, were “off the charts”, a blessing for Asian suppliers such as South Korea’s LG Display (034220.KS) and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (2330.TW).

Indeed, technology stocks were the top gainers in MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS, which was up 0.5 percent. Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) led the charts.

Energy stocks did well too, with Brent crude LCOc1 at its highest since July 2015 after Saudi Arabia agreed to support the extension of a global oil production cut agreement. [O/R]

Seoul shares .KS11 edged up 0.2 percent while Australia’s benchmark index climbed 0.3 percent.

Japan’s Nikkei .N225 steadied around the highest since mid-1996, having soared 8 percent in October so far.

Global share markets have been on an uptrend since the start of the year, helped by solid corporate earnings and positive economic data across major countries.

The world share index .MIWD00000PUS has surged 17.6 percent so far in 2017, on track for its best showing since 2013.

“The continuation of quantitative easing (QE) in Europe at a time when Japan remains locked on QE and the U.S. is only tightening gradually highlights that global monetary conditions will remain easy for a long while yet,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital.

“This, along with strong economic growth and earnings, largely explains why global share markets are so strong.”

In the United States, Alphabet (GOOGL.O) GOOG.L, Amazon (AMZN.O) and Microsoft (MSFT.O) all jumped last week after solid quarterly performances, sending U.S. indexes higher.

Amazon (AMZN.O), up 13.2 percent, was responsible for the biggest boost to the SP 500 on Friday after reporting a quarterly sales surge. [L2N1N221K]

Apple is due to report on Thursday.


The dollar index .DXY was a touch softer, with investors focused on the impending appointment of the Federal Reserve chair, with speculation rife that Fed governor Jerome Powell is the favoured suitor.

Wagers that Powell – who markets see as a less hawkish candidate – will be the chosen one, tempered the dollar’s advances and dragged 2-year Treasury yields off a nine-year top US2TY=RR. An announcement is expected this week.

In Europe, political uncertainty and the European Central Bank’s decision to extend its stimulus further weighed on the common currency, marking its biggest weekly loss of the year.

The euro EUR= steadied at $1.1613, not far from $1.1573 which was the lowest since July 20.

Spain sacked Catalonia’s regional government on Friday, dissolved the Catalan parliament and called a snap election after Catalonia declared independence from Spain.

The ECB’s decision last week to extend its bond purchases into September 2018 also hurt the euro, driving yields on two-year German bunds lower DE2YT=RR.

The premium that 2-year U.S. debt pays over 2-year German yields is now the widest since mid-1999, making it more attractive to borrow in euros to buy dollars.

In commodities, copper was near a two-week low CMCU3. Spot gold XAU= was trading 0.1 percent lower at $1,270.74 per ounce. [GOL/]

U.S. crude CLc1 ticked up 4 cents to $53.94 a barrel.

Editing by Eric Meijer and Jacqueline Wong

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