Asia stocks near two-year high; euro stays steady as French vote lifts mood
Asian equities hit a near two-year high on Tuesday, buoyed by a jump in risk appetite following the centrist victory in the first round of the French presidential election that also lifted the euro and pressured safe-haven assets.
European stocks also look set for a strong start, with financial spreadbetter CMC Markets expecting Britain’s FTSE 100 to open up 0.2 percent and Germany’s DAX to start the day 0.3 percent higher. France’s CAC 40, which jumped 4.1 percent to post its biggest one-day gain in almost five years on Monday, is set to open up 0.4 percent.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.6 percent, hovering near the highest level since June 2015 hit earlier in the session, on its fourth straight day of gains.
“Asian markets appear to be still lingering in the glow of relief after the French election,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist at IG in Singapore. “The jubilance in markets overnight has also added to the optimism.”
U.S. President Donald Trump’s promise of an announcement on a tax reform plan on Wednesday could offer further impetus to markets, she added.
Japan’s Nikkei rose more than 1 percent to a three-week high. South Korea’s KOSPI also advanced 0.7 percent to the highest level since April 2015.
Chinese shares rose 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.9 percent. The Chinese index posted its worst day in 2017 on Monday amid signs Beijing will tolerate further market volatility as regulators clamp down on shadow banking and speculative trading.
Indonesian stocks opened at an all-time high, and Malaysian stocks .KLSE hit their highest level since May 2015.
Australia and New Zealand are closed for the Anzac Day holiday.