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Stock Market Wrap-up: US Futures, Asian stocks up helped by Facebook gains; yen dips ahead of BOJ meeting

Contracts for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 climbed 1% and an Asia-Pacific share index posted a modest gain. Japan’s bourse was in the green, while Hong Kong and China fluctuated.

Asian stock market
On Thursday, S&P 500 futures rose 0.6% while Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.1%, according to Bloomberg. (File: Reuters)

US equity futures and an Asian stock gauge rose Thursday amid steadier investor sentiment following a surge in Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. and more pledges of economic support from China.

Contracts for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 climbed 1% and an Asia-Pacific share index posted a modest gain. Japan’s bourse was in the green, while Hong Kong and China fluctuated. Wall Street equities eked out an advance Wednesday.

Meta jumped 18% in extended trading after Facebook’s main social network added more users than projected. That brightened the mood toward megacap U.S. tech stocks and bolstered the biggest ETF that tracks the Nasdaq 100.

In China, officials have stepped up pledges of economic support amid Covid lockdowns. The latest move was a vow to stabilize employment. The twin virus outbreaks in Shanghai and Beijing continued to show signs of steadying.

Treasuries were little changed as investors calibrated risks from the prospect of aggressive Federal Reserve monetary-policy tightening to tackle high inflation. A dollar gauge was at the highest level since 2020.

Volatility remains the watchword in markets, stoked by China’s struggle to suppress Covid, Russia’s war in Ukraine and worries that Fed tightening may tip the world’s largest economy into a recession. There are lingering hopes that robust U.S. corporate earnings could improve the mood.

“The uncertainty factor is some of the highest we’ve seen in the course of the last number of years,” Kate Moore, BlackRock global allocation team head of thematic strategy, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “There are so many crosscurrents. And against that backdrop, it’s hard to see volatility come down dramatically.”

Elsewhere, the Bank of Japan is expected to keep its main monetary settings unchanged, even as the yen’s rapid weakening to a two-decade low fuels market speculation about a possible adjustment to policy or messaging. The currency retreated ahead of the decision.

In commodities, oil hovered near $102 a barrel. The market is struggling to find direction amid Germany’s support for a gradual ban on Russian crude and bearish headwinds created by China’s lockdowns.

Events to watch this week:

  • Tech earnings include Amazon, Apple
  • EIA oil inventory report, Wednesday
  • Bank of Japan monetary policy decision, Thursday
  • U.S. 1Q GDP, weekly jobless claims, Thursday
  • ECB publishes its economic bulletin, Thursday

Some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 futures rose 0.6% as of 10:48 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 rose 0.2%
  • Nasdaq 100 futures rose 1.1%. The Nasdaq 100 was little changed
  • Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.8%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index gained 1%
  • South Korea’s Kospi added 0.3%
  • China’s Shanghai Composite index rose 0.3%
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index increased 0.6%
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures climbed 0.5%

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1%
  • The euro was at $1.0542
  • The Japanese yen traded at 128.70 per dollar, down 0.2%
  • The offshore yuan was at 6.5954 per dollar, down 0.1%

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 2.83%
  • Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose four basis points to 3.1%

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.5% to $101.54 a barrel
  • Gold was at $1,883.16 an ounce

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