TOKYO – Asian stocks were mostly higher Monday, with Chinese and South Korean trading closed, as investors weighed the prospects of a further U.S. interest rate hike and a report on business sentiment out of Japan.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 1.2 per cent to 16,640.23 in morning trading. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.8 per cent to 5,481.70. Chinese and South Korean markets were closed.
WALL STREET: The Dow Jones industrial average jumped 164.70 points, or 0.9 per cent, to finish the week at 18,308.15. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rebounded 17.14 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 2,168.27. The Nasdaq composite rose 42.85 points, or 0.8 per cent, to 5,312.
GERMANY: Deutsche Bank has tried to reassure investors about its financial health. Investors hope Deutsche Bank will be able to negotiate down the massive cost of settling a U.S. investigation into mortgage securities. Deutsche Bank is the largest lender in Germany, and investors had been concerned about not only its plunging stock price, but the potential effect on the financial system if Deutsche Bank gets into serious trouble and the German government does not help it.
THE QUOTE: “Now that there is a prospect of a second rate hike in the U.S., and people are asking how high the U.S. policy interest rate will be able to go, attention is focusing on the secular stagnation theory, which claims that neutral real interest rates have fallen,” says a market report from Nomura Securities in Singapore.
TANKAN: The Bank of Japan “Tankan” quarterly survey of business sentiments released Monday showed that there was no change among major manufacturers. The Japanese economy has been stagnating for years, but hopes are high that the central bank’s easy lending will pull growth out of the doldrums.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil fell 25 cents to $47.99 a barrel, while brent crude, the international standard, slipped 28 cents to $49.91 a barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 101.45 yen from 101.03 yen late last week in Asia. The euro rose to $1.124 from $1.118.