Tokyo's record run continues as most Asia markets rise

 24 Oct 2017 - 10:49

Tokyo's record run continues as most Asia markets rise


Hong Kong: Tokyo's Nikkei led another broad advance across Asian markets on Tuesday, with the Nikkei chalking up its 16th straight gain to extend an impressive record streak.

The Japanese market pushed to fresh 21-year highs on the back of a weaker yen and hopes that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's weekend election landslide victory will usher in further measures to boost the world's number three economy.

Equities had powered ahead on Friday on news that US senators passed a budget plan allowing them to introduce Donald Trump's much-vaunted tax cuts with a simple majority vote instead of a 60-40 split.

However, there are fears that the recent surge will run out of steam and lead to a sell-off.

"These markets are tired, fatigued and need new information to fuel the beast," Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG in Melbourne, told Bloomberg News.

Tuesday's rises in Asia came despite a retreat on Wall Street, where the Dow ended a five-day run of records ahead of a wave of corporate earnings releases including General Motors, McDonald's and Amazon. 

Tokyo ended up 0.5 percent to continue the best run of gains in its near 70-year history. Sydney gained 0.1 percent and Seoul ended marginally higher but Hong Kong was down 0.5 percent in afternoon trade.

- US tax hopes -

Shanghai rose 0.2 percent after China's twice-a-decade party congress ended, with President Xi Jinping cementing his power at the apex of the Communist Party.

Wellington, Taipei and Bangkok also eked out gains.

In early European trade London fell 0.2 percent and Paris gave up 0.1 percent while Frankfurt was flat.

On currency markets the dollar was up against the yen while maintaining most of its latest gains on the pound and euro on hopes for Trump's tax cuts.

Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, said Trump had voiced support for a new top rate for the wealthy in order to help the middle class.

"This is important because it reconciles his views with those of House Speaker Paul Ryan who said last week that he didn't want to see 'a big drop in income tax rates for high-income people'," said McKenna.

Traders are also keeping tabs on the president's pick as Federal Reserve boss, with the choice said to be between a fiscal hawk and a dove. Incumbent Janet Yellen is said to be an outside bet to retain her post when it is up for renewal early next year.

Trump said he would make an announcement "very shortly, pretty shortly".

The euro continues to struggle on uncertainty over Spain's Catalan crisis, while the European Central Bank meets on Thursday with analysts expecting it to wind down its stimulus.

- Key figures around 0720 GMT -

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: UP 0.5 percent at 21,805.17 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.5 percent at 28,156.92

Shanghai - Composite: UP 0.2 percent at 3,388.25 (close)

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.2 percent at 7,512.10

Euro/dollar: UP at $1.1763 from $1.1747 at 2100 GMT

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3212 from $1.3199

Dollar/yen: UP at 113.54 yen from 113.41 yen

Oil - West Texas Intermediate: UP four cents at $51.94 per barrel

Oil - Brent North Sea: UP seven cents at $57.44 per barrel

New York - DOW: DOWN 0.2 percent at 23,273.96 (close)