Asian markets rise in thin holiday trade

3 April, 2018

Asian markets moved broadly higher on Monday as investor confidence continues to improve with no additional uncertainties arising over the weekend.

Japan’s Nikkei is rising 0.49%, adding to Friday’s 1.4% gain and looking to notch a third consecutive winning session, The broader Topix index has a 0.31% gain, with Japanese equities rising in response to the continued weakness of the Yen, as the USD/JPY has found support at the 106.00 level and promises to rise throughout the session in the absence of safe haven demand for the Yen.

Equities rised yesterday despite disappointing Japanese economic data. Both manufacturing and non-manufacturing Tankan survey results came in weaker than expected on Monday, and final manufacturing PMI data was slightly softer than forecast.

Investors are more concerned with the Yen yesterday, although they’ve uncharacteristically avoided the moves in the haven currency throughout much of last week. Also helping sentiment is the continued enthusiasm following last weeks’ news of talks between Japan and North Korea, as well as the testimony that cleared Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of any connection to the ongoing Japanese land sale scandal.

In outside markets the U.S. dollar is broadly weaker against most currencies, which is giving gold a boost after a lackluster performance last week, and in fact for the entire first quarter. Crude is also gaining, adding to last Thursday’s gains that snapped a three session losing streak.

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