Stocks in Asia track Wall Street rally on good earnings, economy

Japan's stocks opened higher with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average poised to extend gains for a 17th session. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) - Equities in Asia tracked gains in US shares on Wednesday (Oct 25) on optimism in the world economy and encouraging earnings reports that buoyed the dollar and lifted government bond yields.

Japan's stocks opened higher with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average poised to extend gains for a 17th session. Profit at Caterpillar in the US overnight, a bellwether for global growth, reinforced the view that the international economic expansion is the most synchronized since the start of the decade. Alongside solid manufacturing readings from Europe, Japan and the US, that pushed 10-year Treasury yields to 2.42 per cent and lifted the greenback to the highest level since July.

More indications of broadening global growth are coming as the Federal Reserve and other central banks start to pull back on emergency monetary stimulus. The European Central Bank is expected to announce a reduction in the size of its monthly stimulus spend at its policy meeting Thursday, the biggest scheduled event for markets this week.

In the US, an intensifying war of words between President Donald Trump and Republican US Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee has muddied the prospects for tax reform. In a speech highly critical of Trump, Arizona Republican Jeff Flake announced he wouldn't seek re-election to his Senate seat, raising further uncertainty about the overhaul's fate.

In China, the new members of the Politburo Standing Committee, China's supreme political body, will be revealed on Wednesday following the 19th Party Congress. Investors will scrutinize the appointments for hints at policy approach.

Japan's Topix index and the Nikkei 225 each climbed 0.4 per cent as of 9:13am in Tokyo.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.1 per cent as did South Korea's Kospi index.

Hang Seng Index futures gained 0.5 per cent.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index slid 0.1 per cent. The gauge climbed 0.2 per cent on Tuesday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.7 per cent to a record high.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady after climbing 0.3 per cent to the highest in almost 15 weeks on Tuesday.

The yen traded at 113.91 per dollar while the euro traded at US$1.1761 after increasing 0.1 per cent Tuesday.

Gold was little changed at US$1,276.30 an ounce. It fell 0.4 per cent in the previous session.

West Texas Intermediate crude was at US$52.44 a barrel following an advance of 1.1 per cent.

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