Asia Set for Gains After U.S. Stocks Hit Record: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks looked set for gains Friday after U.S. shares climbed to a record on optimism about increased stimulus in the world’s largest economy. Trading should be light with holidays across the region.

Futures in Japan pointed higher after the S&P 500 Index closed above 4,000 for the first time as investors weighed President Joe Biden’s $2.25 trillion spending plan. Technology shares led gains, though value stocks also joined in on the rally. U.S. equity futures pointed higher.

Treasuries rebounded after the worst quarter in decades with benchmark yields falling back below 1.7%. The dollar retreated. Oil climbed after the OPEC+ alliance agreed to increase production gradually.

In Asia, markets including Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and India are closed for holidays, as are many across the world.

Investors are cheering increasing signs of strength in the U.S. economy. Manufacturing growth roared ahead in March, and government job-market data due Friday are expected to show the first in a series of outsized monthly increases. Biden’s plan to rebuild infrastructure has added to the growth outlook, though questions remain about how much can actually be delivered.

Traders for now are looking past worsening virus trends, such as Chile’s move to close its borders for April and a lockdown in France. They remain focused on inflation risk as central banks reassert their commitment to low interest rates.

“Before you worry about inflation, there’s reflation and I think that’s the main theme in the market,” said Ed Campbell, fund manager and managing director at QMA.

Read More: Navigating the Recovery Trade Is Getting a Whole Lot Trickier

Some key events to watch this week:

U.S. employment report for March on Friday.Good Friday starts the Easter weekend in countries including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia and Canada.

These are some of the main moves in financial markets:

Stocks

S&P 500 futures were up 0.2% as of 8:47 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 Index increased 1.2% Thursday.Nikkei 225 futures rose 1%.

Currencies

The yen was little changed at 110.60 per dollar.The offshore yuan was flat at 6.5745 per dollar.The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3% Thursday.The euro traded little changed at $1.1777.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell seven basis points to 1.67%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 3.9% to $61.45 a barrel.Gold was at $1,728.44 an ounce.

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