Caution abates in Asia as yen drops, stocks rise

Japan's Topix index climbed, recovering some of this week's slide, as the yen dropped for the first time in nine days.
Japan's Topix index climbed, recovering some of this week's slide, as the yen dropped for the first time in nine days. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) - Caution during US trading hours abated in Asia on Friday (March 24) as the yen weakened and stocks climbed.

Japan's Topix index climbed, recovering some of this week's slide, as the yen dropped for the first time in nine days. South Korean equities rose with Australian shares, while the MSCI Emerging Markets Index extended this week's gains.

Overnight in the US, the S&P 500 Index had a turbulent Thursday after a delay on a vote on US health care raised speculation President Donald Trump may struggle with other policies.

The vote is now planned for Friday.

Reflation trades sparked by Trump's election have faltered in March as the administration remains far from delivering on pro-growth policies that boosted stocks and the dollar. A stronger yen this week has weighed on equities in Tokyo, while emerging-market assets have continued an advance since the US raised interest rates last week.

The yen lost 0.2 per cent to 111.16 per dollar as of 9:25am in Tokyo after eight days of gains. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose less than 0.1 per cent.

The Topix index rose 0.4 per cent, paring this week's loss to 1.9 per cent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 1 per cent and South Korea's Kospi index advanced 0.1 per cent. Hang Seng futures rose 0.3 per cent.