Asian shares firmed on Thursday, uplifted by stronger US economic data and a rise in oil prices, while growing lookouts of a US rate hike hit gold & the boosted the dollar to one-month highs versus the yen.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.2 % while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.9 %.
On Wednesday, US S&P 500 Index gained 0.43 %, led by banks & energy companies. US services sector activity recovered sharply in September from six-year lower hit in August, after similarly upbeat news from US factories on Monday.
“Both manufacturing and service indexes recovered from big drops in August.
While it is not clear what the underlying US economic trend is, given the recovery in Japanese & Chinese surveys the global economic cycle occurs to be rebounding for now,” said Chotaro Morita, chief bond strategist at SMBC Nikko Securities. Growing optimism on the US economy boosted bets that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December.