GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks up as Biden signs stimulus; lower yields boost tech

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks up as Biden signs stimulus; lower yields boost tech
Credit: © Reuters.

* MSCI Asia ex-Japan +0.45%, Nikkei +0.99%

* Biden signs $1.9 tln stimulus into law

* ECB says it will speed up bond purchases

* U.S. initial jobless claims less than expected

By Andrew Galbraith and Matt Scuffham

SHANGHAI/NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) - Asian shares pushed higher on Friday after U.S. President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law, and as a retreat in bond yields overnight eased global concerns about rising inflation.

Biden signed the stimulus legislation ahead of a televised address in which he pledged aggressive action to speed vaccinations and move the country closer to normality by July 4. signing of the American Rescue Plan provided a further boost to market sentiment after the European Central Bank said it was ready to accelerate money-printing to keep a lid on borrowing costs, using its 1.85 trillion euro Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP) more generously over the coming months to stop any unwarranted rise in debt financing costs. and a better-than-expected U.S. government bond auction could support a rally in tech stocks and a rotation between growth and value stocks in the next few weeks, said Cliff Zhao, chief strategist at China Construction Bank International in Hong Kong. in the second quarter the market still (will be) very volatile, and especially when we look at the U.S. dollar it's much stronger than expectations around the end of last year. So I think the strong U.S. dollar may weigh on some liquidity conditions in the emerging markets," he said.

MSCI's broadest gauge index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS gained 0.45% on Friday morning, supported by tech gains.

Seoul's KOSPI .KS11 added 1.12%, Taiwan shares .TWII were up 0.21% and Australia's ASX 200 .AXJO gained 0.85%.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 rose 0.99%, but China's blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 lost 0.43% as that country's high-valuation tech and consumer firms dragged.

U.S. Treasury yields were higher on Friday, with the 10-year yield US10YT=RR at 1.5405% after falling to 1.475% overnight, its first foray below 1.5% in a week.

The German 10-year yield DE10YT=RR was last at -0.331% after hitting a three-week low of -0.367%.

"There might be some disappointment (the ECB) didn't expand their bond purchase program but that's largely offset by undertakings to accelerate the purchases," said Michael McCarthy, chief markets strategist at CMC Markets.

On Wall Street, easing inflation worries helped support equities. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.58% and the S&P 500 .SPX gained 1.04%, both to record highs. The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 2.52%.

Sentiment was also boosted by weekly jobless claims data, which pointed to a recovering U.S. labor market as vaccine rollouts helped lead to economic reopenings. largely expect inflation to pick up as vaccine rollouts lead to a reopening, but worries persist that Biden's stimulus package could overheat the economy. dollar gained 0.22% against the yen JPY= to 108.73 and the euro EUR= fell 0.1% on the day to $1.1975. The dollar index =USD , which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, edged up to 91.488.

Oil prices retreated from sharp gains as the dollar firmed, with U.S. crude CLc1 dipping 0.3% to $65.82 a barrel. Brent crude LCOc1 lost 0.24% to $69.46 per barrel.

Spot gold prices XAU= were little-changed, up less than 0.1% at $1,722.40 an ounce.

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