Global stocks recovered to three-week highs on Friday as anticipated strong earnings season took centre stage after U.S. President Donald Trump backtracked on his suggestion of an imminent missile attack on Syria.
MSCI`s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan <.miapj0000pus> ticked up 0.1 percent while Japan`s Nikkei <.n225> gained 0.8 percent.
MSCI`s broadest gauge of the world`s stock markets <.miwd00000pus> also edged up 0.1 percent after hitting a three-week high on Thursday.
In New York, the S&P 500 <.spx> gained 0.83 percent, led by a 1.83 percent gain in financials <.spsy> after strong quarterly results from BlackRock Inc
The earnings season begins in earnest on Friday with reports from JPMorgan Chase & Co
Analysts expect quarterly profit for S&P 500 companies to rise 18.4 percent from a year ago, in what would be the biggest gain in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The mood improved also after Trump tweeted an attack on Syria "could be very soon or not so soon at all," allaying fears of an immediate military action that investors fear could lead to wider conflict between Washington and Moscow.
In another change of tack, Trump has asked his trade advisers to look at re-joining the Trans Pacific Partnership, a multinational trade pact he withdrew the United States from early last year.
"Markets have been pushed around by Trump. His modus operandi seems to do anything that seems to be good for his re-election. If protectionism doesn`t work, he may switch to international trade," said Hiroshi Watanabe, economist at Sony Financial Holdings.
"Markets are still not yet convinced yet if the U.S. is really re-joining the TPP. But if it does, it`s very positive for the global economy and stock markets will like it," he added.
The improved sentiment drove up U.S. bond yields. The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield
In the currency market, the dollar rose to 107.27 yen
The yen has become litmus test for risk sentiment, sought when investors turn risk averse because Japan`s hefty current surplus gives protection to any capital outflows deficit-running countries are vulnerable to.
The Hong Kong dollar stood at 7.8498 to the dollar
The Singapore dollar gained slightly after Singapore`s central bank tightened monetary policy for the first time in six years as expected.
Oil prices remained close to highs last reached in late 2014 on tensions in the oil-rich Middle East and shrinking global oil inventories.
Brent crude futures
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)
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