Asian stocks gained, following advances in U.S. and European equities, while bonds slipped as investors looked past geopolitical events to the prospects of faster U.S. economic growth. Oil extended its advance.
Stock gauges from Japan to Australia advanced on Wednesday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at a record and the Stoxx Europe 600 Index reached its highest level this year. The yen traded close to the weakest since February versus the dollar after Japan’s central bank kept its yield-curve and asset-purchase programs unchanged. Treasuries and gold reversed gains from Monday that had come following an attack that left 12 people dead in Berlin and the killing of Russia’s envoy to Turkey. Oil jumped above $53 a barrel as data showed U.S. stockpiles declined last week.
Markets are showing resilience to terror incidents, with investors choosing instead to focus on the likelihood of increased U.S. government spending that has buoyed equities and pummeled bonds since Donald Trump won the Nov. 8 presidential election. Trading volumes are thinning out ahead of the December holidays and year-end. A so-called fear gauge of volatility in European stocks was at the lowest since 2014.
“Noteworthy is the resilience of equity markets and low volatility in the face of two horrific terrorist attacks in Europe,” Jason Wong, a currency strategist at Bank of New Zealand in Wellington, wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. “They seem to have had little impact on the market.”
The Bank of Japan kept its yield-curve and asset-purchase programs unchanged at its last meeting of the year on Tuesday and forecast a moderate recovery trend to continue amid a pickup in exports, better business sentiment and resilience in private consumption.