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ASIAN STOCKS INCH UP, DOLLAR GOES DOWN

Asia’s stock markets followed Wall Street higher on Thursday, as investors returned to tech stocks, gold and selling dollars after steady virus figures and a surprising jump in US inflation boosted sentiment, Reuters reported on August 13, 2020.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.2%, and gains in semiconductor makers drove Japan's Nikkei 1.9% higher to a six-month peak. The rises come after a tech rally left the S&P 500 within a whisker of a record closing high overnight, in a climate where even bad news is regarded as good news if it increases the chances of more stimulus to aid recovery.


“We’d seen value outperforming over the last few days, but that was unwound last night,” said Chris Weston, head of research at Melbourne brokerage Pepperstone, pointing to a drop in US real yields as inflation expectations rose.


“Maybe that was enough to get people back into the short dollar, long precious metals, long tech trade,” he said. Rising fuel costs lifted US consumer prices 0.6% last month, compared with expectations for 0.3%, leaving core inflation at 1.6% for the year to July. At the same time, the number of daily new COVID-19 infections in the United States seems to be stabilizing around 55,000. S&P 500 futures ESc1 traded flat. The bond market was steady after a huge auction and the generally upbeat mood drove selling overnight, with benchmark 10-year U.S. debt yielding 0.6622%.


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