Asia stocks set to rise on U.S. cues; dollar bounces
HONG KONG, Jan 25 (Reuters) – Asian stocks are set to climb to fresh three-month highs on Wednesday following a stronger Wall Street as investors welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump’s eagerness to deliver on his campaign promises.
Trump’s shift back to growth initiatives including promising corporate tax breaks to fuel investment at home after focusing on protectionism in the first few days snapped the U.S. dollar’s losing streak and pushed Treasury yields higher.
In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.16 percent. Early Asian markets such as Japan and Australia led the region higher.
"After a bumpy start in the first few days where Trump focused on protectionist measures, the markets reacted positively overnight with U.S. equity benchmarks boosted to fresh all-time highs," said James Woods, global investment strategist at Rivkin Securities in Sydney.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq set records on Tuesday in a broad rally led by financial and technology stocks.
Trump signed two executive orders on Tuesday to move forward with construction of the controversial Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, rolling back key Obama administration environmental actions in favour of expanding energy infrastructure.
He also met chief executives of the Big Three U.S. automakers and pressed them to build more cars in the United States.
The dollar halted a three-day losing streak against a basket of its trade-weighted rivals and pushed higher on Tuesday.
Sterling added to overnight gains and was trading at 1.22 per dollar after Britain’s Supreme Court ruled that the government would need approval from Britain’s parliament before formally triggering the country’s departure from the European Union. It has bounced 4 percent over the last week.
In bond markets, U.S. Treasury yields rose with two-year benchmark yields holding firm at 1.22 percent compared to 1.15 percent on Tuesday, reflecting strong economic conditions. Ten year yields were at 2.46 percent.
Oil prices consolidated overnight gains with Brent futures flat after rising 0.4 percent overnight.
Renewed optimism over Trump’s growth policies took the wind out of a recent rally in safe-haven gold which stabilised around the $1,210 per ounce level.