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Asian Shares Down, but World Shares Near Record High

Asian shares slid on Friday, but world stocks held near a record high. Strong U.S. economic data fuels optimism, which keeps global stocks high. Moreover, the Federal Reserve’s commitment to continue supporting the economy also fuelled investors’ appetite for risk.

Thursday’s data also showed U.S. economic growth sped up in Q1, sustained by Biden’s government aid to households and businesses.

After more than a year of closures and capacity restrictions, New York City aims to “fully reopen” on July 1. This was a statement from Mayor Bill de Blasio. He was propping up hopes for a recovery in the battered service sector.

On Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that it is not yet time to discuss any policy change. The Federal Reserve left interest rates and its bond-buying program unchanged. 

In more than two weeks, the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was highest, rising to 1.690%, and last stood at 1.641%.

Stocks Movements

 

Japan and China shares fell ahead of a long weekend. The broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares of MSCI outside Japan was lower by 0.5%. Notably, both markets will be closed through Wednesday.

By 10:14 PM ET (2:14 AM GMT), China’s Shanghai Composite lost 0.61%. The Shenzhen Component shed 0.47% ahead of a weeklong holiday that begins on Saturday. 

April’s manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) was 51.1. That was below the 51.7 forecasted and below March’s 51.9 figure. On the other hand, the non-manufacturing PMI was 54.9, also below March’s 56.3 reading.

The Caixin manufacturing PMI in the private sector for April was 51.9, above the 50.8 forecasts and above April’s 50.6 reading. The PMI for Caixin services is due in the following week.

In early trade, Japan’s Nikkei slid 0.4%, while China’s CSI 300 lost 0.5%.  

ACWI, which is MSCI’s broadest gauge of world stocks covering 50 markets, was little changed. This was a day after reaching a historic high extending its monthly gains to 5.1%.

On Wall Street

 

Also closing at an all-time high was the S&P 500. The Nasdaq Composite touched an intraday record before it paired some gains.

In the next 12 months, analysts expect the earnings of ACWI and S&P 500 to recover to above their pre-pandemic levels. 

Late on Thursday, Amazon reported stellar results, adding 2.4% to its shares in after-hours trade. 

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