Asian Stocks Set to Gain; Pound Up on Brexit News

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(March 12): Asian stocks are poised for gains after U.S. shares jumped the most in six weeks as retail sales data boosted confidence in the world’s largest economy. The pound jumped after the U.K. government said it secured changes to the Brexit deal.

Futures pointed higher in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong. The S&P 500 surged past its 200-day moving average, while the Nasdaq 100 jumped on deal news and an upgrade to Apple Inc. Treasuries slipped as U.S. retail sales stabilized in January after a worse-than-expected plunge the prior month. Oil prices climbed as Saudi Arabia extended deeper-than-agreed production cuts into a second month. The dollar retreated.

Stocks are repairing after the worst week since December after a slew of negative news about the global economy, including a weak American jobs report and a sharp dovish turn by the European Central Bank. Data releases this week will be closely watched for clues on growth and the impact of central bank policy in the U.S., European Union and China, with the Bank of Japan the next to meet.

On the trade front, investors continue to await news out of U.S.-China trade negotiations after China’s central bank governor said Beijing and Washington are in general agreement on many crucial issues and have held meaningful discussions on foreign exchange.

Elsewhere, the pound climbed after Prime Minister Theresa May’s deputy David Lidington told Parliament she had secured “legally binding changes” that “strengthen and improve” the Brexit deal with the European Union. The government confirmed Parliament will vote on the deal Tuesday. Boeing retreated after some airlines grounded 737 Max flights following a crash Sunday.

Here are some key events coming up:

Chinese retail sales and industrial production data are scheduled for release this week. The National People’s Congress is set to wrap up with a speech on Friday from Premier Li Keqiang. U.K. House of Commons votes Tuesday on May’s revised Brexit deal, 20 days before Britain is scheduled to leave the EU. Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda will speak on Friday, after he and his board meet to decide on monetary policy.

These are the latest moves in markets:


Futures on the Nikkei 225 rose 1 percent in Singapore. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures were up 0.6 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index contracts gained 0.6 percent. The S&P 500 rose 1.5 percent.


The yen was steady at 111.34 per dollar. The offshore yuan traded at 6.7298 per dollar. The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.1261. The pound rose 0.7 percent to $1.3244.


The yield on 10-year Treasuries increased one basis point to 2.64 percent, the first advance in more than a week.


The Bloomberg Commodity Index dipped 0.3 percent Monday to the lowest in three weeks. WTI crude rose 1.3 percent Monday to $56.77 a barrel, the largest advance in a week. Gold fell 0.4 percent to $1,293.31 an ounce. - Bloomberg