TOKYO: Asian stocks rallied from a one-month low, while South Korean bonds climbed after the central bank unexpectedly cut interest rates. Gold led metals higher as the dollar weakened.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased for the first time this week, adding 1 percent by 3:20 p.m. in Tokyo. The Shanghai Composite Index headed for a six-week high, while Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures climbed 0.2 percent following a second day of declines in the U.S. gauge. The euro pared losses after touching a 12-year low and New Zealand’s dollar advanced after the central bank held rates. Gold rose for the first time in nine days and Korea’s three-year bond yield fell to a record.
South Korea’s surprise cut came a day after Thailand’s as central-bank easing outside the U.S. sends the dollar to multi-year highs against major peers. The European Central Bank’s 60 billion euro ($63 billion) a month bond buying program has sent the euro tumbling and dragged yields in the region to record lows. The U.S. reports retail-sales and jobless-claims data Thursday that may color expectations for next week’s meeting of the Federal Reserve.
“We’ve never seen stimulus created like this before and how you bleed that out is creating a lot of uncertainty as to what’s going to happen,” Michael Cuggino, president of Pacific Heights Asset Management LLC in San Francisco, told Bloomberg TV. “There’s such a divergence between what’s going on in the rest of the world with central banks cutting rates and the U.S. likely raising them. Still, there’s money to be made in stocks.”