Asian markets rise again
ASIAN markets rose yesterday with Japanese stocks boosted by a weaker yen, while the pound hit a new three-decade low against the dollar as talk of a fresh US rate hike added to worries about Britain’s exit from the European Union.
News showing the US manufacturing sector rebounded in September helped turn attention back to US monetary policy, days ahead of the release of a closely watched jobs report.
The speculation added further pressure on sterling, which has plunged this week after British Prime Minister Theresa May set a timetable for leaving the EU by 2019.
US factory activity expanded in September, the Institute for Supply Management said, after showing contraction the month before.
Traders took the report as a sign the world’s top economy is getting back on track and able to withstand an increase in borrowing costs.
The Fed had considered a rate hike but held off, saying it wanted to see more evidence of strength.
“The data is suggesting the Fed will likely raise rates in December,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, told Bloomberg News.
“We’ll probably have a couple of months of stronger data gauging from the strength of new orders. The yen weakness is supportive of Japanese exports.”
Japanese exporters were lifted by the weaker yen, which makes their goods cheaper and helps their bottom line. The Nikkei closed 0.8 percent higher, just short of the previous day’s rise.
Stocks were also up elsewhere in Asia, despite some early wariness after a surge the day before.
Hong Kong climbed 0.5pc while Singapore rose 0.3pc, and Seoul added 0.6pc as investors returned from a long weekend break. –