Asian stocks rise as investors count down to expected rate hike

HONG KONG - Asian stocks posted strong gains Wednesday ahead of a widely expected decision by the Fed to raise interest rates from near zero in a vote of confidence in the U.S.

See Full Article

economy.

KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 index jumped 2.1 per cent to 18,961.83 and South Korea's Kospi climbed 1.7 per cent to 1,966.64. Hong Kong's Hang Seng advanced 2.1 per cent to 21,724.30 and the Shanghai Composite Index in mainland China rose 0.5 per cent to 3,526.52. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 2 per cent to 5,010.00. Benchmarks in Taiwan and Southeast Asia also gained.

THE FED, FINALLY: Investors around the world will be watching the Fed, which is expected to announce that it will raise interest rates from record low levels. Fed Chair Janet Yellen and other officials at the U.S. central bank have signalled well in advance that they are likely to raise rates for the first time in nearly a decade. They've also strongly hinted that they'll keep the pace of any further increases gradual, as they try to avoid roiling financial markets that have become accustomed to easy credit. The decision comes as the U.S. economy comes back to full strength even while other big central banks are opting to keep the stimulus taps open to revive flagging growth in their economies.

MARKET INSIGHT: "Efforts will especially be placed on communication this time around, as the Fed will need to carefully harmonize market expectations with their own forecasts," economists at Societe Generale said in a note to clients. "Sound too constructive and the market could interpret the Fed as being late in the tightening cycle. Sound too pessimistic and some may lose faith in the progress of the economy. We expect Chair Yellen to strike the right balance."

WALL STREET: Major U.S. benchmarks finished by posting their biggest gains in a week, led by gains in energy companies and banks. The Dow Jones industrial average added 0.9 per cent to close at 17,524.91. The S&P 500 increased 1.1 per cent to 2,043.41 and the Nasdaq composite index gained 0.9 per cent to 4,995.36.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude futures slipped 44 cents to $36.91 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract rose $1.04, or 2.9 per cent, to settle at $37.35 a barrel on Thursday. Oil is down about 30 per cent in 2015 and is at its lowest in more than six years. Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, lost 21 cents to $38.52 a barrel in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 121.73 yen from 121.83 yen in the previous day's trading. The euro edged up to $1.0946 from $1.0929.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Cleanup of oil spill in Sask. cost $107M, Husky Energy says

    Economic CTV News
    CALGARY -- Husky Energy says efforts to clean up a major oil pipeline spill last year in Saskatchewan have cost $107 million. About 90,000 litres of heavy crude and diluent leaked into the North Saskatchewan River last July, jeopardizing drinking water supplies for thousands of people downstream. Source
  • Ottawa's deficit hits $14B through first nine months of fiscal year

    Economic CBC News
    The federal government ran a budgetary shortfall of $14 billion over the first nine months of the fiscal year, compared with a $3.2-billion surplus over the same period a year earlier. The Finance Department's monthly fiscal monitor says federal program expenses between April and December rose $16.7 billion, or 8.8 per cent, compared with the same stretch a year ago. Source
  • Uniqlo's new modest line featuring hijabs debuts in Toronto

    Economic CTV News
    A modest-style clothing collection that features hijabs and abayas is making its debut at Canada’s two Uniqlo clothing stores. The clothing collection is by U.K.-born fashion designer Hana Tajima and features 30 items in 81 colours and patterns. Source
  • Waymo accuses Uber of self-driving car theft

    Economic CBC News
    A self-driving car company founded by Google is colliding with ride-haling service Uber in a court battle revolving around allegations of betrayal, high-tech espionage and greed. The brewing showdown emerged late Thursday in a lawsuit filed in a San Francisco federal court by Waymo, a once-secretive self-driving company hatched by Google eight years ago. Source
  • Ottawa's deficit hits $14 billion nine months into 2016-17 fiscal year

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The federal government ran a budgetary shortfall of $14 billion over the first nine months of the fiscal year, compared with a $3.2-billion surplus over the same period a year earlier. The Finance Department's monthly fiscal monitor says federal program expenses between April and December rose $16.7 billion, or 8.8 per cent, compared with the same stretch a year ago. Source
  • Auto parts giant Magna raises concerns about protectionist trade measures

    Economic CTV News
    AURORA, Ont. - Canadian auto parts giant Magna International Inc. (TSX:MG) raised concerns Friday about protectionist trade measures as it reported its latest quarterly results. The Aurora, Ont.-based company says the auto industry is dependent on open borders and the free movement of goods, services, people and capital, particularly in Europe and North America. Source
  • OMERS retirement fund improves investment return in 2016 to 10.3 per cent

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO -- The OMERS pension fund for nearly half a million public sector workers in Ontario says it achieved a 10.3 per cent net investment return in 2016 -- the highest in several years. The Toronto-based fund manager says its net assets rose by $8.1 billion to $85.2 billion at the end of 2016, making OMERS one of Canada's largest retirement funds. Source
  • 20% higher gas prices push up cost of living to 2.1% pace in January

    Economic CBC News
    The cost of living in Canada rose by 2.1 per cent in the year up to January, a sharp increase from the pace in December. Statistics Canada reported Friday that the annual inflation rate rose to 2.1 per cent last month, from 1.5 per cent. Source
  • Inflation rate in January fuelled by gas prices

    Economic CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A surge in gasoline prices helped push Canada's annual inflation rate well beyond expectations in January to 2.1 per cent -- an increase that coincided with the implementation of new carbon-pricing policies in Ontario and Alberta. Source
  • London takes title of world's most innovative city

    Economic CTV News
    A new ranking has named London the world's most innovative city, after analyzing cities on their potential for creation and implementation of new ideas. In the 10th edition of Melbourne-based outfit 2thinknow's "Innovation Cities Index 2016-2017," the British capital outperformed 500 cities on the list for the second year in a row. Source