Markets Wrap: Asia Stocks Set to Open Higher upon Strong U.S. Economic Data

US equities advanced on Friday after strong data. U.S. new home sales surged 20.7% in March to the highest level since 2006, while manufacturing and services indices reached a record high since 2007 and 2009 respectively. 

Stock trading on Friday saw the S&P 500 rose by 1.1% and Nasdaq gained 1.4%. Indices futures in Japan, Hong Kong, and Australia are pointing towards a positive open on those strong signs of pandemic recovery. 

US treasury yields were a little changed on Friday. US 10-year Treasury yields hovered below 1.6%, while US 2-year yields rose by 1 point to near 0.16%.

According to ZERO Markets’ Metatrader 4 platform, the US dollar was weaker against major fx pairs last Friday. EUR/USD rose from lows near 1.2020 highs around $1.2098. AUD/USD rose from lows near to $0.7724 highs around $0.7761. Currencies were steady on Monday morning.

Commodity trading on Friday saw global oil prices rose higher after strong US and European economic data. Brent crude rose 1.1% to $US 66.11 a  barrel. However, over the week, the Zero Markets’ MT4 showed crude oil prices fell due to the resurgence of COVID infections in the world’s third and fourth-largest crude importers – India and Japan. 

Cryptocurrency trading saw a relatively steady weekend with Bitcoin traded down to $48000 on Monday morning.

Gold futures fell little by 0.2% to $US1777.8 an ounce. While iron ore prices continued their rise to $185 a tonne, lifted by $US7.25 over the week.

Focus this week will be on the Federal Reserve meeting, reaffirming that they are in no hurry to withdraw stimulus support on the back of a strong economic rebound.

Key events this week:
  •  Bank of Japan rates decision (Tuesday)
  • FOMC meeting (Wednesday)
  • US first-quarter GDP (Friday) 

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