Asian equities posted strong gains on Thursday as oil prices settled at lower levels, although China was an exception due to pressure from COVID.
Futures by all indicators continue to grow in Europe at the end of the session, despite the expected increase in the ECB rate and the situation with the energy crisis. Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 0.4% and FTSE futures rose 0.09%.
Japan’s Nikkei added 2.18% to break 28,000 for the first time this month, as domestic exporters felt lifted by the weaker yen.
The large MSCI Asia Pacific index outside of Japan was up 0.57%, while the Australian S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.63%.
Despite this, Chinese blue chips fell 0.12% after the news of the extension of the quarantine in one of the provinces and disappointing trade data.
“Today for Asia it’s really a story of whether zero-COVID will continue to impact the Chinese economy, which will of course have a spillover effect in terms of imports,” said Gary Ng, senior economist at Natixis in Hong Kong.
The Hong Kong Hang Seng index fell 0.35%.
Wall Street’s three major indexes surged significantly overnight as bond yields declined.
Traders and investors are looking forward to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech on further plans to raise central bank interest rates to fight inflation.
Expectations for a third consecutive 75 basis point rate hike are around 76%, up from 69% a week ago.
The yen traded just below 144 per dollar after dropping to nearly 145 overnight. The dollar index rose slightly to 109.73.
The euro slipped 0.19% to $0.99885 after hitting a 20-year low of $0.9864 earlier in the week. Markets expect the European Central Bank to raise rates by 75 basis points later on Thursday to fight inflation.
Oil prices rebounded slightly after a downturn, but remained below $90 per barrel. US crude rose 0.88% to $82.66 a barrel, while Brent added 0.85 to $88.75 a barrel.
Spot gold fell 0.15% to $1,715.07 an ounce, while the leading Bitcoin last fell 0.29% to $19,326.
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