Asian shares rise as Chinese markets return from break

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Asian shares rose on Friday as Chinese shares returned from a one week holiday upbeat, tracking a global rally, while investors also eyed key U.S. jobs data for any fresh insight into the timing of Federal Reserve tapering.

FILE PHOTO: A man watches an electric board showing Nikkei index outside a brokerage at a business district in Tokyo, Japan, June 21, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5%, after rallying 2.1% the day before, its biggest daily gain since August. Japan’s Nikkei index advanced 1.8%.

Chinese blue chips gained 0.56% as they resumed trading after being closed for the National Day holiday, while Hong Kong, which has been open all week, gained 1%.

Elsewhere, Australian shares rose 0.84%, helped by mining stocks amid surging commodities prices.

Over the past three months, Chinese shares have been battered by regulatory changes, turmoil in the property sector, and more recently a power crunch, but some investors are now starting to see a buying opportunity.

“The debate on China is shifting a bit away from being very negative. People are asking ‘Is there a way beyond the regulatory uncertainty? How much of this is reflected in prices?’,” said Herald van der Linde, Asia Pacific head of equity strategy at HSBC.

“We’re neutral, we tell people not to be too negative because valuations are low.”

The focus remains on the property market as investors wait to see whether regulators take action to contain the contagion from cash-strapped China Evergrande Group’s debt problems.

U.S. futures rose 0.16% after the U.S. Senate approved legislation to temporarily raise the federal government’s $28.4 trillion debt limit and avoid the risk of a historic default later this month.

Overnight, on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.98%, the S&P 500 rose 0.83% and the Nasdaq Composite moved up 1.05%.

Investors are also keeping an eye on U.S. employment data for September due later on Friday. They expect employment figures that are near consensus will lead the Federal Reserve to indicate at its November meeting when it will begin tapering its massive stimulus program.

U.S. Treasury yields rose ahead of those figures, with volatility at the shortest end of the curve easing as the plan to avoid a default on government debt emerged.

In Asian hours, the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose 1.6 basis points to 1.58887%, its highest since June when it touched 1.594%. [US/]

In currency markets, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of its peers, was little changed at 94.206, not too far from a 12-month high of 94.504 hit in late September, as traders awaited the jobs data.

CBA analysts said it was possible the jobs data could surprise investors by being lower than expected, but “we think it would take a larger miss than we are anticipating to stop the [Federal Reserve] from announcing a taper in November.”

“A strong payrolls print can support USD because it will signal an imminent … taper.”

Oil prices continued to be volatile. Brent crude rose 0.6% to $ 82.44 a barrel, while U.S. crude gained 0.78% to $78.90 a barrel. [O/R]

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