Asia stocks, euro steady early Tuesday as markets pause for breath after French election
The risk rally has kept safe-haven assets, including the yen and gold came, under pressure, while the Canadian dollar fell after the U.S. announced new duties averaging 20 percent on Canadian softwood lumber imports. The Canadian currency
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed early on Tuesday.
Japan’s Nikkei added 0.3 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI advanced 0.2 percent. Australia is closed for a holiday.
Polls show Emmanuel Macron defeating anti-euro nationalist Marine Le Pen by as much as 30 percentage points in the second round of the French presidential election in two weeks.
“This alleviates fears that we were going to have to navigate a French exit (from) the European Union,” said Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
Overnight, the MSCI World index <.MIWO00000PUS> surged 1.6 percent to an all-time high. The pan-European STOXX 50 index <.STOXX50E> soared 4 percent, its best day in nearly two years and France’s CAC40 <.FCHI> jumped 4.1 percent, its biggest one-day gain in almost five years.
On Wall Street, the Nasdaq <.IXIC> climbed 1.2 percent to a record high, while the Dow <.DJI> and the S&P <.SPX> both gained 1.1 percent.
The euro’s earlier gains had weighed on the dollar index, which touched a four-week low overnight. The index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of trade-weighted peers, was flat at 99.092, failing to make up Monday’s 0.9 percent loss.
The dollar was steady at 109.81 yen
A strong earnings season in the U.S. has also lifted investors’ spirits, with 77 percent of the 100 companies that have reported first-quarter results so far beating profit expectations.
This week is set to be the busiest in at least a decade, with over 190 S&P 500 companies reporting first-quarter results, including heavy weights Alphabet
This week in Asia, investors await a raft of economic indicators, including first-quarter inflation data for Australia and Japan, the Bank of Japan’s interest rate decision, Japan’s March unemployment rate and first-quarter gross domestic product for Taiwan and South Korea.
In commodities markets, oil prices crept higher after six straight sessions of losses, although gains were capped by fears that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may not extend output cuts beyond June 30, and as Russia indicated it can lift output if the deal on curbs lapses.