Asia Stocks to Rise After U.S. Rally; Oil Soars: Markets Wrap

Asian stocks looked poised for gains after a strong session on Wall Street, with investors assessing how far the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. is away from its peak and when the economy will be able to ramp up again. Oil surged amid expectations for production cuts.

Futures rose in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. S&P 500 Index contracts opened flat after the gauge jumped 3.4% — bringing gains from its March low to more than 20%. Oil climbed after Algeria confirmed that the OPEC+ emergency meeting scheduled for Thursday will discuss an output cut of 10 million barrels per day. A spokeswoman for Russian energy ministry said the nation will commit to cuts based on its proportion of the total production. Treasury yields pushed higher and the dollar fluctuated.

“It’s all a question of when the economy reopens and how quickly that happens,” said Nancy Davis, chief investment officer of Quadratic Capital Management LLC. “We aren’t out of the woods.”

While the White House’s top health advisers are developing medical criteria for safely reopening the U.S. economy in coming weeks should trends hold steady, the coronavirus claimed a record number of victims in the U.K. and Belgium, as well as in the hard-hit states of New York and New Jersey. The number of new cases in Italy and Spain crept up after several days of declines.

Earlier, Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the start of a turnaround in the fight against the coronavirus could come after this week. President Donald Trump tweeted about reopening sooner rather than later.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 advanced 0.1% as of 7:20 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge rose 3.4% on Wednesday.
  • Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 1.8%.
  • Hang Seng futures gained 1.6%.
  • Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 1.4%.

Currencies

  • The yen was at 108.86 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan traded at 7.0675 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.0856.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose six basis points to 0.77%.

Commodities

  • West Texas crude added 5.1% to $26.37 a barrel.
  • Gold was at $1,646.95 an ounce.

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