Asian shares inched close to 2-1/2-year highs on Friday

Asian shares inched close to 2-1/2-year highs on Friday as revived hopes for a U.S. stimulus deal eclipsed weaker-than-expected jobs data, while mainland Chinese markets jumped after a week-long holiday.

Asian Shares

  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.15%, inching closer to its Aug. 31 peak, which was its highest level since March 2018.
  • China’s CSI300 index .CSI300 gained 1.68% after the Golden Week holidays.
  • Japan’s Nikkei .N225 dipped 0.1% after hitting a 7 1/2-month high, while futures for the S&P 500 EScv1 gained 0.47%.

Currency Markets

  • In the currency market, the dollar was on defensive against most other currencies.
  • The euro firmed slightly to $1.1771 EUR= while the dollar slipped 0.17% to 105.85 yen JPY=.
  • The biggest mover was the yuan, which gained more than 1% in its first onshore trade in a week, hitting a 1 1/2-year high of 6.7165 per dollar CNY=CFXS.

Oil Prices

  • Oil prices were little changed on Friday after gains the previous day on output shutdowns and possible supply cuts.
  • Brent crude LCOc1 stood flat at $43.34 per barrel, following Thursday’s 3.2% gains.
  • U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was little changed at $41.21 after having added $1.24 cents, or 3.1% on Thursday.

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