Asia shares higher as S&P 500 breaks record

August 27, 2014

Asian markets ticked higher Wednesday following another record close on Wall Street as investors welcomed more upbeat data indicating the US economy is back on track.

The positive US figures helped the dollar consolidate against the yen at a seven-month high, while it was at an 11-month peak against the euro following disappointing German data.

Tokyo shares rose 0.10 percent in the morning, Hong Kong added 0.14 percent, Sydney gained 0.16 percent and Seoul advanced 0.53 percent, while Shanghai was up 0.19 percent.

US stocks jumped anew Tuesday after the Conference Board said consumer confidence rose for a fourth straight month to its strongest level since February 2008. Also, durable goods orders surged in July to a new monthly record, according to the Commerce Department.

The news sent the S&P 500 up 0.11 percent to 2,000.02, ending above the 2,000 benchmark for the first time.

The Dow rose 0.17 percent to 17,106.70, just shy of a record high touched intra-day, while the Nasdaq added 0.29 percent.

As a result of the US bull run, traders are now more confident about riskier assets, sending the dollar up against the yen to sit around highs not seen since January.

In Asia on Tuesday the greenback bought 104.11 yen, compared with 104.05 yen in New York.

“It seems as though the (Federal Reserve’s policy committee) is running out of arguments to retain its highly accommodative policy stance amid the ongoing improvements in the world’s largest economy,” said David Song of DailyFX.

The US unit broke 104 yen on Monday in response to comments from Fed chief Janet Yellen that some analysts took as an indication of a move towards an interest rate hike sooner than later.

Focus will now turn to the release of revised US second-quarter economic growth data on Thursday.

The euro continued to drop on news that German business confidence was at its lowest since July 2013, while European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi hinted at the weekend he could be open to monetary easing measures to lift the eurozone.

The euro bought $1.3160 in Asian trading — its lowest level since September — compared with $1.3169 in New York, while it was also at 136.93 yen against 137.03 yen.

On oil markets West Texas Intermediate for October delivery eased four cents to $93.82 while Brent crude for October rose 10 cents to $102.60.

Gold traded at $1,283.29 an ounce at 0220 GMT, from $1,289.25 late Tuesday.

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