Most Asia markets rally as dealers return from holiday

Wrap Markets | world
Hong Kong, China | AFP | Tuesday 5/2/2017 - 11:03 UTC+8 | 402 words

Most Asian markets advanced Tuesday, with regional investors returning to trading floors after a long holiday weekend, with eyes now on a Federal Reserve meeting and the release of US jobs data later in the week.

Another record close on Wall Street provided some early buying impetus, while there was also relief that lawmakers in Washington had finally hammered out a deal to avoid a costly shutdown of the US economy.

However, there was some disappointment in figures last week showing growth in the US, British and French economies all came in below expectations.

Tokyo ended the morning session 0.7 percent higher with a weaker yen boosting exporters. The greenback is pushing back towards 112 yen again, having tumbled last month on worries about Donald Trump's ability to push through his pro-growth agenda.

Hong Kong gained 0.2 percent and Seoul was 0.9 percent higher while Wellington, Taipei and Manila also posted healthy gains.

However, Shanghai slipped 0.1 percent after official data at the weekend showed the pace of growth in China's factory activity slowed last month, while a separate, private reading on Tuesday revealed activity at its slowest pace in seven months.

Sydney was 0.5 percent off.

Traders were given a positive lead from Wall Street, where the Nasdaq ended at another record high, while Trump looked to ease tensions with North Korea by saying he would be "honoured" to meet the country's leader Kim Jong-Un under the right circumstances.

Attention turns now to the Fed's latest policy meeting Wednesday. While the central bank is expected to hold off another interest rate hike, the bank's statement will be pored over for clues about its plans for the future.

The gathering will be followed by Friday's release of job creation figures, which will provide a better snapshot of the state of the world's top economy.