Asian markets mostly rise ahead of Fed meeting and earnings

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Hong Kong (AFP)

Most Asian markets rose mainly on Monday after a weekend on Wall Street last week, as traders looked to the latest Federal Reserve policy meeting and corporate giants’ earnings.

A solid read on manufacturing and services activity in the United States and Europe provided a positive catalyst for investors, who appear to have overtaken Joe Biden’s plan to nearly double the capital gains tax, while that Washington’s decision to re-approve Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has also raised optimism.

However, the president’s $ 2.25 trillion infrastructure plan could take longer to pass through Congress than expected after a member of his own Democratic Party said he opposed his size and supported a lean version. proposed by the Republicans.

Joe Machin’s comments could leave Democrats struggling to get the plan through the Senate due to their slim majority.

“It looks like an infrastructure bill looks pretty far off, as do other spending plans on this side of the midterm elections in 2022,” National Australia Bank’s Tapas Strickland said.

Still, Asian traders were in high spirits at the start of business, with Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei and Manila, although there were slight losses in Sydney, Jakarta and Bangkok.

This week, Fed officials will hold their next monetary policy meeting, and its statement will look at an idea of ​​plans for the future as the world’s largest economy continues its strong recovery. Growth data for the first quarter is also due on Thursday.

There had been concerns earlier this year that the strong global recovery, vaccinations and easing lockdowns could spike inflation and force the central bank to raise interest rates sooner than expected. However, those concerns appear to have subsided for now with Treasury yields – a key indicator of future rates – easing from their recent highs.

“Treasury yields have come down a bit, they have resumed rate hikes going forward and we can’t really expect the Federal Reserve or other central banks to take off so quickly, so soon given the ‘uncertainty about the pandemic, “Ben Emons of Medley Global Advisors, told Bloomberg TV.

Investors are also watching earnings reports from Wall Street giants, including Tesla, Facebook and Apple, with Emons adding, “If we’re going to see big jumps in profit growth for these companies this week, then I think it will. is a positive backdrop for the markets. “

– Key figures around 02:30 GMT –

Tokyo – Nikkei 225: + 0.3% to 29,095.36 (pause)

Hong Kong – Hang Seng Index: + 0.2% to 29,131.93

Shanghai – Composite: + 0.5% to 3490.85

Euro / dollar: UP to $ 1.2111 from $ 1.2096 at 22:00 GMT Friday

Pound / dollar: UP to $ 1.3900 from $ 1.3877

Euro / pound: LOW at 87.13 pence from 87.16 pence

Dollar / yen: LOW at 107.72 yen vs. 107.89 yen

West Texas Intermediate: FLAT at $ 62.14 per barrel

North Sea Brent: Down 0.1 percent to $ 66.05 a barrel

New York – Dow: + 0.7% to 34,043.49 (close)

London – FTSE 100: FLAT at 6938.56 (closed)

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