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Asian stocks gain after bounce in US shares, bonds: markets wrap

Asian stocks gain after bounce in US shares, bonds: markets wrap
Pedestrians in Times Square in New York. (Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Shares rose in Asia after stocks and bonds rallied on Wall Street, bringing some relief to financial markets after a series of punishing losses. Traders’ focus now turns to Friday’s US jobs data.

Equity benchmarks in Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea all advanced, adding a bullish pulse to the region after a gauge of Asian equities fell into a technical correction on Wednesday. Oil ticked higher, paring losses from its steepest one-day drop in a year. The dollar weakened for a second day.

US equity futures held in tight ranges in Asia after the S&P 500 climbed 0.8% in New York, its biggest gain in almost three weeks, and the Nasdaq 100 advanced 1.5%, its best day since August. Mainland China markets remain shut for a week-long holiday.

Australian and New Zealand bonds rallied, mirroring Wednesday’s rebound in Treasuries. Yields on 10- and 30-year US government debt had slipped six basis points in US trading, paring a run of steep increases. The selloff in longer-maturity Treasuries has rivaled some of the most notorious market meltdowns in US history.

“We are going all in on long-duration, high-grade bonds,” Adam Coons, a fund manager at Winthrop Capital Management, said on Bloomberg Television. “We are really at an inflection point where interest rates in the US just can’t go up that much higher.”

The easing of Treasury yields was helped by economic data that prompted traders to scale back forecasts for Federal Reserve tightening this year.

US companies added the fewest number of jobs since the start of 2021 in September, according to a survey from the ADP Research Institute in collaboration with Stanford Digital Economy Lab. A separate report from the Institute for Supply Management showed the services sector pulled back modestly last month to the lowest level this year. Friday’s nonfarm payrolls figures are forecast to show hiring slowed in September.

‘Oversold market’

Bill Gross, co-founder and former chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., said retail investors that hold bonds in exchange-traded funds were adding to the pressure in Treasury markets over the past week.  “We are seeing a little bit of an oversold market” as 10-year Treasury yields approach 5%, he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

The dollar fell against all its Group-of-10 peers, with the yen strengthening much as 0.6%. Traders had speculated about official Japanese intervention in the market Tuesday when the currency spiked higher after touching 150 per dollar. However, early indications show that may not have been the case.

Elsewhere in Asia, inflation data in South Korea overshot estimates, supporting the won. Doosan Robotics Inc. shares rose on their debut in Seoul after the nation’s largest initial public offering this year. Chinese property developers are also in focus as Sunac China Holdings Ltd. faces court proceedings on Thursday on its multibillion-dollar offshore debt restructuring plan.

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate futures were moderately higher after slumping 5.6% Wednesday to settle below $85 a barrel. The decline reflected concern over flagging demand for the commodity as higher interest rates and a strong dollar weigh on the global economy.


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