Asia stocks gain after Fed official signals slow rate rises

AP News
Posted: Apr 07, 2015 12:08 AM
Asia stocks gain after Fed official signals slow rate rises

BEIJING (AP) — Asian stocks rose Tuesday after Wall Street gained on a jump in crude prices and expectations the Federal Reserve will put off an interest rate hike until late in the year.

KEEPING SCORE: The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.8 percent to 3,933.49 and Tokyo's Nikkei 225 added 1.3 percent to 19,653.15. Taipei, Singapore, Jakarta and Bangkok also rose. Seoul's Kospi was steady at 2,047.11 while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 climbed 1.1 percent to 5,961.10. Hong Kong was closed for a holiday.

U.S. ECONOMY: U.S. investors were reassured by a comment from William Dudley, president of the Federal Reserve's New York branch, that rate increases will be "shallow." That helped to buoy sentiment that was dented by Friday's weak employment numbers.

ANALYST'S TAKE: Dudley's comment that a negative reaction by stock markets to an interest rate hike would "slow us down" was confirmation the Fed has used monetary policy to create a "wealth effect," said Evan Lucas of IG Markets in a report. "It's a simple idea: make people feel wealthier and they will consume more," Lucas said. "It is why the market is pricing in an October move and why most now believe, as Mr Dudley himself stated, that the rate rise will be shallow."

WALL STREET: A jump in the price of U.S. crude set off a rally in energy stocks. Transocean, an operator of drilling rigs, soared 10 percent. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 13.66 points, or 0.7 percent, to close at 2,080.62. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 117.61 points, or 0.7 percent, to 17,880.85, and the Nasdaq composite rose 30.38 points, or 0.6 percent, to 4,917.32.

ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude sank 35 cents to $51.79 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract gained $1 on Monday to close at $52.14. Brent crude, used to price international oils, shed 57 cents to $57.55 per barrel in London after soaring $3.17 on Monday to $58.12.

CURRENCY: The dollar gained to 119.64 yen from Monday's 119.48 yen. The euro edged up to $1.0941 from the previous session's $1.0937.