Economy1 hour ago (Oct 29, 2020 07:55PM ET)
© Reuters. People wearing protective face masks, following an outbreak of the coronavirus, are reflected on a screen showing Nikkei index, outside a brokerage in Tokyo
By Pete Schroeder
(Reuters) – Asian markets looked to continue an upward swing on Friday, after a rebound in U.S. equities and strong corporate earnings set the stage.
Australia’s ASX 200 () climbed 0.14% in early trading, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures () <.hsic1> were up 0.26%.
Japan’s () were down 0.24% and down 0.31% from the underlying index’s () close on Wednesday.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe () was up 0.44%.
Record numbers of coronavirus cases worldwide and the Nov. 3 U.S. presidential election remained the major factors looming ahead for investors. On Wednesday, global coronavirus cases rose by over 500,000 for the first time as France and Germany prepped fresh lockdowns.
But in the short-term, a diet of strong quarterly reports from tech giants set the stage for an upswing at the Asia open. Google parent Alphabet (O:), Amazon.com Inc (O:), Apple Inc (O:) and Facebook Inc (O:) all beat analyst estimates for quarterly revenue, with Amazon reporting a second straight quarter of record profits.
U.S. stocks enjoyed a rebound Thursday after a significant selloff the day prior. They were boosted by a stronger-than-expected report on U.S. economic growth in the third-quarter, which found record expansion but lingering scars from the pandemic.
“Even with the rebound, US output remains 3.5% below its pre-COVID levels. The path towards recovery is much less clear from here, especially as the number of virus cases grows and there are near-term impediments to a fiscal deal,” wrote ANZ analysts in a note.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average () closed up 0.52%. The S&P 500 () gained 1.19% and the Nasdaq Composite () added 1.64%.
The European Central Bank committed to further action in December to further lend economic support as European nations grappled with a renewed coronavirus outbreak. The announcement sent the euro sliding to a four-week low against the U.S. dollar.
Oil continued a downward slide, falling by more than 4% Thursday and hitting a five-month law, as renewed pandemic concerns weighed heavily on demand expectations.
December Brent crude () futures were down $1.66, or 4.2%, and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude () futures were $1.50, or 4%, lower.
Gold prices hit a one-month low Thursday, pushed down by a stronger dollar. U.S.
The 10-year note () last fell 16/32 in price to yield 0.8331%, from 0.781% late on Wednesday.
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