Asian markets gain on Bank of England easing boon; key US jobs data awaited


Tokyo: Asian shares joined a rise in global stock prices on Friday after the Bank of England (BoE) launched a potent post-Brexit stimulus campaign, but some caution before a big US jobs report limited gains.

An overnight rally in crude oil prices also sharpened risk appetites, while sterling nursed deep losses after sliding on news of the BoE stimulus plan.

The BoE said it would take “whatever action is necessary” to achieve stability in the wake of Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.

The BoE’s quarter point rate cut to a record low 0.25% sent already low global bond yields even further down with British yields hitting record lows as gilt prices rose.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.3%, headed for a 0.9% weekly gain. MSCI’s world stocks index rose 0.3%.

Australian shares gained 0.5% and South Korea’s Kospi added 0.4%. Japan’s Nikkei advanced 0.6%.

Wall Street ended Thursday little changed ahead of the July US nonfarm payrolls report which will be scoured for clues to whether it is strong enough to support a Federal Reserve rate hike as early as September.

Economists polled by Reuters expect US employers to have added 180,000 jobs, compared with 287,000 in June.

Also Read: Bank of England cuts rates for first time since 2009, restarts bond purchases

“We may need the jobs report to come in much higher than expected to revive rate increase prospects for September and lift the dollar, given how weak the second quarter US GDP was,” wrote Masafumi Yamamoto, chief currency strategist at Mizuho Securities in Tokyo.

The dollar was effectively flat at ¥101.185, on track to fall 0.8% on the week. The euro was steady at $1.1132 after losing 0.7% on Thursday.

The dollar index was steady at 95.752 after gaining 0.3% on Thursday.

Sterling crawled up 0.1% to $1.3120 after retreating 1.6% overnight.

The Australian dollar hovered near a 3-week high of $0.7641, awaiting the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy statement due later in the day.

The US Treasury 10-year note yield was little changed at 1.5% after dropping 25 basis points overnight during a broad post-BoE rally in bond markets, which took the 10-year gilt yield to a record low of 0.6%.

Yields on euro zone bonds such as German bunds also tumbled on Thursday as bond prices rose after the BoE news.

In commodities, oil pulled back slightly after rallying overnight following a modest stockpile drop at the US delivery hub for crude futures.

US crude was down 0.2% at $41.83 a barrel after surging nearly 3% overnight. Crude prices had slid to a 3-1/2-month low below $40 earlier in the week on concerns of a global glut