Markets are mostly up as earnings season continues:
Most of the major indexes in Asia closed higher on the day following some positive news from Japan as well as the entrance of some hot money after waiting by the sidelines. Reports today that the Japanese trade surplus widened after its exports fell at a slower pace than last month boosted the country’s Nikkei 225 index 0.7% to close at 9792.94. Neighboring countries followed with the Kospi up 0.2%, New Zealand’s NZX 50 up 0.6%, the Sensex higher by 2.6% and Singapore’s Straits Times Index on the green closing 1.4% up.
The hot money that flowed into the Chinese economy led the Shanghai Composite index to close 1% higher at 3328.49 while the Hang Seng climbed 2.4 per cent to 19,703.17, just a couple of hundred points off the psychologically-important 20,000 level. The Australian index closed lower at 4,058.3, a day after it hit its highest since November, so did the Singapore STI.
In Europe, earnings in the US as well as strong numbers from banking giant Credit Suisse propelled the major indexes to close higher for today’s trading session. The FTSE 100 index rose 1.5% to close at 4559.80 while the DAX had a big 2.5% gain finishing at 5247.28. French CAC-40 index was also stronger by 2.1% after its close at 3373.72.
After yesterday’s mini-sell off, investors are still feeding the markets with a lot of cash from the sidelines amid companies continuously beating earnings expectations. As I write, the Dow is already past the 9,000 level, higher by 2% to be at 9,058 while the S&P 500 is higher by 2.27%. The tech stocks are leading with the Nasdaq several basis points better than the gain seen by the S&P.
And with strong markets come weak dollar:
The euro is boosting its position today, advancing against the greenback as well as the Japanese yen. As risk appetite returns in the market, more and more are deserting the safe haven currencies and moving to the riskier equities for their investments. The dollar is down against most major currencies, except for Japan where investors are putting their money in to foreign assets.
The euro was at $1.4221 from $1.4211 late Wednesday, and the dollar was at ¥94.85 from ¥93.54, according to EBS. The euro was at ¥134.88 from ¥132.96 a day earlier while the pound was at $1.6490 from $1.6463. The dollar was at 1.0712 Swiss francs from 1.0662 Swiss francs.