Asia Stocks to Track U.S. Higher on Biden Plan: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — Asia stocks are set for a firmer open after gains in U.S. equities as traders assessed President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan. Treasuries weakened.

Futures climbed in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong. U.S. contracts were steady after the S&P 500 Index climbed and stronger technology stocks drove outperformance in the Nasdaq 100. A slight pullback in the dollar left its best quarter in a year intact.

Ten-year Treasury yields resumed their rise, leading the Bloomberg Barclays index tracking U.S. government bonds to its worst three-month performance since 1980. Oil pared earlier losses after talks in the leadup to a meeting of OPEC and its allies offered no signal of output plans.

Investors are turning their attention to the impact of government stimulus as concerns about fallout from a blowup at investment firm Archegos Capital Management subside. The U.S. president presented a $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal against a backdrop of unprecedented support from central banks, aimed at keeping borrowing costs low as their economies recover.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said Wednesday that policy makers won’t shy away from using all their powers should investors try to push bond yields higher.

Meanwhile, data for March showed U.S. private employers added the most jobs in six months, adding to evidence that the vaccine drive and business reopenings are spurring hiring.

“There is still some room for recovery in stocks that will benefit from the economic recovery and the reopening trade,” Ania Aldrich, investment principal at Cambiar Investors LLC, said on Bloomberg TV. “There’s still a lot of growth that has to come and that’s not necessarily reflected in earnings yet.”

Some key events to watch this week:

OPEC+ meets to discuss production levels for May on Thursday.China Caixin PMI due Thursday.U.S. employment report for March on Friday.Good Friday starts the Easter weekend in countries including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia and Canada.

These are some of the main moves in financial markets:

Stocks

S&P 500 futures were flat as of 7:12 a.m. in Tokyo.The S&P 500 Index increased 0.4%. Nasdaq 100 rose 1.5%.Nikkei 225 futures rose 0.6%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures rose 0.3%.Hang Seng Index futures gained 0.8%.

Currencies

The yen traded at 110.73 per dollar.The offshore yuan was at 6.5646 per dollar.The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.2%.The euro rose 0.1% to $1.1723.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries gained about four basis points to 1.74%.Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose three basis points to 1.82%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.9% to $59.66 a barrel.Gold was at $1,707.61 an ounce.

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