Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s election victory lifted world stocks and the dollar on Monday, relegating concerns about Spain’s escalating political crisis to little more than a blip on the market radar.
Abe’s emphatic win, which heralds a continuation of Japan’s hyper-easy monetary policy, kept risk-on bets in play after fresh optimism about tax cuts in the United States had pushed Wall Street to a new record on Friday.
US stock index futures pointed to a higher open for Wall Street, tracking gains for other major stock markets.
President Donald Trump also indicated that the re-appointment of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was still a possibility.
The dollar touched its highest point since July and traded 0.2 per cent higher at 113.78 yen on Monday. Against a basket of currencies, it rose 0.3 per cent. The euro fell 0.4 per cent to $1.1738.
“It seems most likely to me that dollar strength is now dominating in euro-dollar,” said Esther Reichelt, foreign exchange strategist at Commerzbank, also pointing to the imminent Fed chair decision.
European STOXX 600 shares rose 0.2 per cent, although banks weighed and Madrid’s bourse IBEX lagged its peers, shedding 0.4 percent, as Spain’s crisis entered another week.
Britain’s main share index started the week flat, as weak financials countered stronger consumer staples and further profit warnings held the market in check.
Dow Jones and S&P 500 futures were up about 0.1 percent, while Nasdaq futures were up about 0.2 per cent.
Japan’s Nikkei climbed 1.1 per cent to its highest since 1996, lifting the MSCI All-Country World index to a fresh record high.
Also trading on Abe’s big win, euro zone borrowing costs fell, as bond markets
ready for the European Central Bank to signal baby steps away from its ultra-easy policy stance on Thursday and for the US Federal Reserve to hike rates in December.
German Bund futures were up 0.1 per cent.
“Now there’s a renewed mandate for quantitative easing, which means a weaker yen and stronger Japanese government bond prices. It also has a significant spillover for other developed markets,” said Peter Chatwell, head of euro rates strategy at Mizuho.
Britain’s pound edged lower against the dollar as worries over divisions within the ruling Conservative party as well as uncertainty over the Bank of England’s interest rate outlook left the currency on unsteady ground.
Growth in British factory orders slowed this month to its weakest in almost a year, a survey from the Confederation of British Industry showed. The stronger dollar also increased pressure on some emerging currencies, with the Turkish lira and stocks suffering amid lingering concerns over Ankara’s relationship with Washington.
Gold hit its lowest in more than two weeks.
China stocks ended slightly higher on strong gains in consumer and healthcare firms although trading volumes remained thin as investors awaited policy cues from a party congress and data showed growth in new home prices slowed to a crawl in September.
Metals rose across the board on the London Metal Exchange, still basking in the glow of last week’s firm growth data in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer.
The MSCI Emerging Market index was down 0.1 percent.
Oil prices largely held onto last week’s gains, supported by supply disruptions in Iraq and a drop in U.S. drilling. [O/R]
Brent crude fell 2 cents to $57.54 a barrel, while U.S. crude futures added 9 cents to $51.93.