Asian Stocks Set for Gains in Holiday Hit Trading

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(April 19): Stocks in Asia looked set for modest gains after their U.S. counterparts edged higher, ahead of a holiday weekend in many countries. The dollar climbed.

Futures pointed higher in Japan and China, with trading volumes expected to be lighter than usual. The S&P 500 Index closed up after data showed retail sales jumped by the most since September 2017 and unemployment claims fell. Treasuries climbed alongside European bonds. The euro fell following disappointing German and euro-area factory numbers.

Investors remained cautious ahead of the three-day weekend for many markets, with traders assessing the long-awaited findings of the Special Counsel’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election. Exchanges across Europe will also be shuttered on Monday. So far this week solid economic data out of China optimistic signals from the trade talks had not been enough to spur much risk appetite amid a mixed start to the earnings season.

Elsewhere, oil prices turned higher after a report showed a drop in U.S. drilling activity. Emerging market currencies retreated.

Here are some notable events coming up:

A swathe of financial markets will close across the Western world for the Good Friday holiday, including in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

These are the main market moves:

Stocks

Nikkei 225 futures rose 0.6 percent in Singapore. FTSE China A50 futures rose 0.4 percent. The S&P 500 rose 0.2 percent. The Nasdaq 100 added 0.1 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 0.2 percent.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.3 percent. The euro sank 0.6 percent to $1.12 on the largest decrease in almost four weeks. The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index dropped 0.2 percent.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped three basis points to 2.56 percent. Germany’s 10-year yield lost six basis points to 0.025 percent.

Commodities

Gold futures were flat at $1,276.80 an ounce. West Texas crude gained 0.3 percent to $64.05 a barrel. - Bloomberg