Asian Shares Climb as Global Equities Hit Records: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks gained for a second day on Friday, fueled by the global rally in equities that’s seen markets from the US to Europe and Japan hit all-time highs.

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Australian, Taiwanese and South Korean equities advanced. Japanese markets were closed Friday for a public holiday. S&P futures hovered near all-time highs around 5,100 in the aftermath of Thursday’s powerful tech rally, while European contracts were steady.

China remained an exception. The CSI 300 Index was on pace for its first drop in nine sessions, and both it and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index swung from a rise to a fall.

The largely bullish mood in Asia followed gains overnight in the US, where the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes, along with MSCI’s all-county index, closed at new records. A buoyant outlook for Nvidia Corp., the most valuable chipmaker, helped it surge 16% amid artificial-intelligence mania, while fresh data showed the world’s largest economy is still going strong.

Nvidia’s $277 billion one-day boost to its market capitalization on Thursday was the biggest single-session increase in value ever — eclipsing a recent $197 billion gain by Meta Platforms Inc.

“The major catalyst for markets, absent rate cuts throughout the year, would by necessity be earnings, and here Nvidia wowed investors and traders alike,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist for LPL Financial. “It was clear from their top down, and straight to the bottom line, that demand for AI infrastructure is growing exponentially.”

The Hang Seng Mainland Properties Index gained for a fourth day amid the first signs of property-sector improvement for the country in 10 months. China’s home prices declined at a slower pace for both new and existing-units in January, according to data released on Friday.

Markets were also parsing indications that China’s economic slowdown is getting entrenched, with data published Thursday showing the number of foreclosed properties for sale in China rose at a faster pace in January.

“The Chinese authorities can’t live with the stock market as weak as this, but it is really is only a trading rebound I think,” said Garry Evans, BCA Research’s chief strategist for global asset allocation. “At the moment, the China’s economy still looks very weak.”

Back in the US, traders took more hawkish Fed commentary in stride. Treasury 10-year yields were little changed at 4.32% Thursday. Trading in cash Treasuries was closed in Asia Friday due to the Japanese holiday.

“At some point, as we gain greater confidence that disinflation is ongoing and sustainable, that changing outlook will warrant a change in the policy rate,” Federal Reserve Governor Lisa Cook said at an event at Princeton University.

AI Computing Boom

Nvidia’s market capitalization has now increased by more than $700 billion this year — with its value now topping $1.9 trillion — as investors bet that the company will remain the prime beneficiary of an AI computing boom.

The tech rally has propelled the valuation of the Nasdaq 100 to an elevated level versus history, with a similar picture for the S&P 500. Lofty valuations could ultimately curb more gains as investors weigh how much they’re willing to pay for stocks valued on future growth.

In commodities, oil slipped as investors weighed signs of a tightening market against persistent concerns around demand. Gold fluctuated after the US economic data and Fed minutes which indicated policymakers are content with leaving rates higher for longer if needed.

In corporate news, Standard Chartered Plc announced a $1 billion share buyback along with fourth-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates.

Key Events This Week:

  • Germany IFO business climate, GDP, Friday

  • ECB publishes 1- and 3-Year inflation expectations survey, Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:


  • S&P 500 futures were little changed as of 2:33 p.m. Tokyo time

  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was little changed

  • The Shanghai Composite rose 0.2%


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed

  • The euro was little changed at $1.0825

  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 150.58 per dollar

  • The offshore yuan was little changed at 7.2080 per dollar


  • Bitcoin fell 1% to $51,149.26

  • Ether fell 1% to $2,956.11


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 4.32%

  • Japan’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.715%

  • Australia’s 10-year yield advanced four basis points to 4.20%


This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

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