Asian shares crept toward five-month peaks on Monday as investors wagered the U.S. earnings season would see most companies beat forecasts given expectations had been lowered so far by coronavirus lockdowns.
- MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.15 per cent, having climbed sharply last week on the back of surging Chinese stocks, which added another 1 per cent on Monday.
- Japan’s Nikkei gained 1.7 per cent and South Korea 1.2 per cent.
- E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.5 per cent even as some U.S. states reported record new cases of COVID-19, a divergence that shows no sign of stopping.
- Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was off at 96.585 on Monday and not far from the June trough of 95.714.
- The dollar was a fraction softer on the yen at 106.88.
- The euro held at $1.1309.
Oil prices eased in early trade, although that followed a sharp rise on Friday when the International Energy Agency (IEA) bumped up its 2020 demand forecast.
- Brent crude futures dipped 41 cents to $42.83 a barrel.
- U.S. crude lost 40 cents to $40.15.