Stocks open slightly higher; tech, banks among gainers

Stocks open slightly higher; tech, banks among gainers”

The greenback recorded its best week against the Japanese currency since November last week, gaining 2.8 percent, as a rise in USA yields bolstered its appeal and as data showing a pick up in U.S. consumer prices helped rekindle expectations that the Fed could hike rates again in December.

The broader All Ordinaries index gained 0.40 percent to finish at 5,779, led by financials with the big four banks rising between 0.5 percent and 1.1 percent.

"It is fair to say that in our recent travels most of the investors we have spoken to question not just a December hike, but whether the Fed will hike at all again this cycle", said Tom Porcelli, chief USA economist at RBC Capital Markets. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index was up 352 points or 1.27 percent at 28,159 in late trade.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.25%, S&P 500 futures added 0.02%, and Nasdaq futures increased 0.16%.

In a speech early this month, influential New York Fed President William Dudley said while he was surprised that inflation had been so low, steady growth of the economyshould eventually push wages higher, allowing the Fed to continue to raise rates "gradually". The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 11.55 points, or 0.18 percent, to 6,460.02.

The major indexes have been breaking new highs, with the Dow recording its best weekly gains this year and the S&P, its second best.

Barrick Gold Corp fell 1.2 percent to C$20.81, and Goldcorp Inc lost 1.2 percent to C$15.95 as prices for bullion hit a 2-1/2-week low ahead of a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve meeting and as global equities surged. Orbital ATK shareholders will receive all-cash consideration of $134.50 a share.

With weaker readings also on factory output and consumer confidence the focus now turns to the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting this week as investors look to gauge interest-rate policy.

Still, the Fed has telegraphed its move for months, and investors are thought to be well-prepared for it.

Persistently weak readings of inflation that have remained below the Fed's 2 percent target rate have been a concern for policymakers.

Brent crude was up 7 cents at $55.69 a barrel, following gains of 3.3 percent last week.

Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at AxiTrader, added that "traders continue to bet that the (Donald Trump) administration is refocusing on, and heading toward, some of the much-vaunted stimulus and tax cuts which were so much a part of the Trumponomics rally earlier this year".

BONDS: Bond prices fell.

U.S. Treasury yields rose broadly on Monday. USA crude firmed 7 cents to $49.97 a barrel.

CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 111.41 yen from 110.88 yen on Friday. Brent crude, used to price worldwide oils, rose 11 cents to $55.73 in London.

It would be highly unusual if he didn't reappoint her: Most presidents keep Fed chairs for an additional term. The euro was little-changed at $1.1944. In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.4 percent, while France's CAC 40 gained 0.3 percent. (AAPL) shares led the tech sector higher on Friday, while the rest of markets quickly overcame a terrorist incident in London and another missile launch from North Korea. Japan markets are closed for a holiday on Monday. The benchmark Kospi jumped 1.35 percent to finish at 2,418.21.

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