Asian stocks close to a maximum of 1-1 / 2 weeks, Bitcoin compensates for losses

Asian stocks on Monday moved close to 1-1 / 2-week highs, aided by expectations that monetary policy will remain flexible around the world, while the introduction of COVID-19 helps alleviate fears of another dangerous wave of coronavirus infections.

MSCI’s broadest Asia-Pacific stock index outside of Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) last stood at 695.59, at an astonishing distance from Friday’s highest of 696.48 – a level not seen since April 7th.

The index jumped 1.2% last week, and has risen 5% so far this year, on track for its third consecutive year-on-year rise.

“Extremely supportive monetary and fiscal policies continue to provide a fertile environment for risky assets,” said Rodrigo Catril, senior forex strategist at the National Bank of Australia.

Australian stocks (.AXJO) were 0.25% higher, while the New Zealand reference index (.NZ50) and South Korean KOSPI (.KS11) added 0.4% each. Japanese Nikkei (.N225) decreased by 0.4%.

On Friday, the S&P 500 (.SPX) recorded an increase of 0.4% at a new record level, while recording its sixth consecutive weekly growth. The Dow (.DJI) finished 0.5%, also at a record high while the Nasdaq (.IXIC) climbed 0.1%.

E-mini futures for the S&P 500 fell 0.3% in early Asian trading.

This week begins with a quiet start, with no major releases of data scheduled for Monday.

Investors will keep their eyes open for earnings from IBM (IBM.N) and Coca-Cola (COKE.O) throughout the day. Netflix (NFLX.O) reports on Tuesday, while later this week American Airlines (AAL.O) and Southwest (LUV.N) will be the first major cyclists after COVID to release the results.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is meeting on Thursday, and no changes in rates or guidelines are expected, while preliminary data on factory activity around the world for April should be on Friday.

By the way, Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency in the world, made up most of its losses after falling by as much as 14% on Sunday after speculation that the US Treasury may seek to curb money laundering activities within digital assets, said Catril from NAB.

The CoinMarketCap data site cited a ban in the Chinese region of Xinjiang, which reportedly runs a lot of bitcoin, for sale. read more

The withdrawal in Bitcoin comes even after the Turkish central bank banned the use of cryptocurrencies for purchase on Friday. read more

Bitcoin has risen more than 90% to date, driven by its usual acceptance as an investment and means of payment, accompanied by a rush of retail cash into stocks, exchange-traded funds and other risky assets.

In currencies, the US dollar was located close to the four-year low against a basket of currencies, as investors increasingly bought at the Federal Reserve’s insistence that it maintain a flexible policy stance for some time.

The dollar index, which measures the return of money against a basket of six currencies, remained unchanged at 91,612, not far from the lowest since Friday, March 18.

Compared to the Japanese yen, the greenback was untouchable at 108.72. The euro was slightly lower at 1.1966 US dollars, while the British pound weakened 0.07% to 1.3820 US dollars.

The risk-sensitive Australian dollar slipped for the second day in a row and fell 0.2% to $ 0.7715.

In commodities, oil prices fell, Brent slipped 34 cents to $ 66.43 a barrel, and U.S. oil fell 29 cents to $ 62.84.

Gold rose 0.2% to $ 1,779.3 an ounce.

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