Asian stocks raised on the final trading day of the week after frail U.S. data reduced the already low chance of an interest rate hikeby the Federal Reserve at next week’s meeting, sending the Treasury yield curve gushing to its steepest level in 2-1/2 months.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced for the first time in eight days as stocks rallied in Australia, Japan, and New Zealand. Futures predicted gains in India and Singapore, while markets in mainland China, Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea and Hong Kong are closed for holidays on Friday.
Australian stock ASX 200 advanced 0.85 percent, with most sectors trading higher. The energy sector was up 0.95 percent, while the heavily-weighted financials sub-index added 0.91 percent.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.25 percent, while the Topix index was up 0.34 percent with major banking stocks gaining more than 1 percent each.
The dollar moved little against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index at 95.261 as of 8:40 a.m. HK/SIN. This was only a bit lower than the 95.499 level it traded at on Thursday afternoon Asia time.
Oil prices receded Friday morning Asia time, after seeing some rebound overnight. U.S. crude futures fell 0.61percent to $43.64 a barrel, after climbing 0.8 percent in the U.S. session. Global benchmark Brent fell 0.64 percent to $46.27, after adding 1.6 percent overnight.
Apple Inc.’s shares boom up; leaves bailed shareholders dismayed
Apple Inc.’s third-quarter whip up is unwelcome news to the unusually large swath of investors who have been giving up on stocks.
Shares of the iPhone have jumped 21 percent this quarter, beating up the S&P 500 Index. At the same time, the number of its institutional owners has fallen 1.3 percent to 3,847 since June as 295 firms sold out their positions completely, a 28 percent increase from three months ago.
Jeffery Sica, president of Circle Squared Alternative Investments in Morristown, New Jersey said, “Fund managers across the board are being guilty of being too conservative. The lack of innovation at Apple has been what’s kept a lot of investors away. They held back and it did hurt them.”
Apple has been having 2 percent gains every day since last Friday. The stock is up 12 percent, beating all but one company in the S&P 500. T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. said they’d received almost four times as many orders for the iPhone 7 as previous models, fuelling speculation that the new product is off to a faster start than usual.
According to the company spokeswoman this late Wednesday, the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus sold out during the company’s online pre-order period. Those devices won’t be able to buy for walk-in customers at Apple stores when sales start Friday.