Stocks climb with dollar on economy optimism

Sydney - Stocks in Asia look set to build on gains seen in US trading after private American hiring data bolstered confidence in the economy, sending the dollar higher and bonds lower.

Equity-index futures in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong all climbed after the S&P 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at all-time highs.

The dollar strengthened as companies added more workers to US payrolls in May than forecast.

The daily yuan fixing level will again be in focus as the currency surges amid speculation Chinese policy makers are trying to discourage bets against it.

Global equities extended this year’s advance to more than 10%, setting a fresh record high, as data showed growth in the world’s largest economy is intact. With investors primed for an interest-rate increase at this month’s Federal Reserve meeting, all eyes will turn on Friday to the latest US hiring report.

Markets largely ignored the US withdrawal from the Paris climate pact.

Here are some key upcoming events:

The US jobs report on Friday may bolster the case for a rate increase, with a gain of 182 000 positions expected.

Federal Reserve officials Patrick Harker and Robert Kaplan give speeches ahead of the so-called quiet period going into the central bank’s rate decision later this month.

Data is due on Indonesia inflation as well as PMIs for Singapore and Indonesia.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

Futures on the Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% in Singapore. Contracts on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.3% and futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added less than 0.1%. South Korean Kospi futures rose 0.3%.   

The S&P 500, the Nasdaq Composite and Nasdaq 100 indexes each closed at fresh records on Thursday.

Currencies

The yen was flat at 111.38 per dollar at 7:00 in Tokyo after falling 0.5% on Thursday, when the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2%. The Aussie was at 73.76 US cents after falling 0.8% on Thursday.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 2.21% on Thursday. The yield curve initially flattened after the ADP report, with the spread between five-year and 30-year notes breaching 110 basis points for the first time since May 11, before it steepened again.

Commodities

Gold traded at $1 265.80 after dropping 0.2% to $1 265.96 an ounce on Thursday. WTI crude oil dropped 0.6% early on Friday after adding 0.1% in the previous session. It’s on course to fall 3.5% this week.

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