SINGAPORE — Markets in Asia-Pacific looked set to rise on Wednesday, as futures in Japan pointed to a higher open, while Australia rose in early trade. U.S. markets continued to rally as Fed comments appeared to reassure investors.

Nikkei futures in Chicago were at 28,480, while its counterpart in Osaka was at 28,450. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 28,222.48.

Australia’s ASX 200 jumped nearly 1% in the morning.

Economic data set to be out in the region on Wednesday include China’s consumer and producer price index for December.

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Stocks on Wall Street rallied for a second day after a rocky start to the year.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite gained 1.41% to 15,153.45, building on an afternoon rally from the previous session that snapped a four-day losing streak. The S&P 500 rose 0.92% to 4,713.07, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 183.15 points, or 0.51%, to close at 36,252.02.

“Stocks rebounded, reversing the recent downward trend, as comments from Powell reassured investors that the Fed is prepared to tighten monetary policy to maintain price stability,” ANZ Research analysts Brian Martin and Daniel Hynes wrote in a note.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday that rate hikes and tighter policy will be needed to control inflation, but did not announce an accelerated change in policy from what the central bank had already signaled.

Concerns on global economic growth also surfaced as the World Bank Tuesday cut growth forecasts for the U.S., the Euro zone as well as China. It warned that high debt levels, rising income inequality and new coronavirus variants threatened the recovery in developing economies.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95.624, falling from levels above 95.9 earlier in the week.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.34 per dollar, weakening slightly from around 115.2 earlier. The Australian dollar was at $0.7210, up from previous levels of around $0.71.



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