GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares near 1-1/2 week highs, Bitcoin recoups losses

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares near 1-1/2 week highs, Bitcoin recoups losses

* Asian stock markets :

* Australia, NZ, South Korea share markets firm, Nikkei off 0.4%

* Bitcoin fell 14% on Sunday, recoups losses in early Monday trading

* Currencies tread water, U.S. dollar near 4-week lows

By Swati Pandey

SYDNEY, April 19 (Reuters) - Asian shares hovered near 1-1/2 week highs on Monday helped by expectations monetary policy will remain accommodative the world over, while COVID-19 vaccine rollouts help ease fears of another dangerous wave of coronavirus infections.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was last at 695.59, within striking distance of Friday's high of 696.48 - a level not seen since Apr. 7.

The index jumped 1.2% last week and is up 5% so far this year, on track for its third straight yearly gain.

"The extremely supportive monetary and fiscal policy setting continues to provide a fertile environment for risk assets," said Rodrigo Catril, senior forex strategist at National Australia Bank.

Australian shares .AXJO were 0.25% higher while New Zealand's benchmark index .NZ50 and South Korea's KOSPI .KS11 added 0.4% each. Japan's Nikkei .N225 eased 0.4%.

On Friday, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.4% to close at a new record high while clocking its sixth straight weekly gain. 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 ESc1 were down 0.3% in early Asian trading.

This week is off to a quiet start with no major data releases slated on Monday.

Investors will keep their eyes peeled for earnings from IBM (NYSE: IBM ) IBM.N and Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) COKE.O later in the day. Netflix NFLX.O reports on Tuesday while later in the week American Airlines AAL.O and Southwest LUV.N will be the first major post-COVID cyclicals to post results.

The European Central Bank (ECB) meets on Thursday with no changes to rates or guidance expected while preliminary data on factory activity around the globe for April is due on Friday.

Elsewhere, Bitcoin BTC=BTSP , the world's biggest cryptocurrency, recouped most of its losses after plunging as much as 14% on Sunday following speculation the U.S. Treasury may be looking at cracking down on money-laundering activity within digital assets, NAB's Catril said.

Data website CoinMarketCap cited a blackout in China's Xinjiang region, which reportedly powers a lot of bitcoin mining, for the selloff. retreat in Bitcoin also comes after Turkey's central bank banned the use of cryptocurrencies for purchases on Friday. is up more than 90% year to date, driven by its mainstream acceptance as an investment and a means of payment, accompanied by the rush of retail cash into stocks, exchange-traded funds and other risky assets.

In currencies, the U.S. dollar =USD loitered near a four-week low against a basket of currencies as investors increasingly bought into the Federal Reserve's insistence it would keep an accommodative policy stance for a while longer.

The dollar index measuring the greenback against a basket of six currencies was unchanged at 91.612, not far from its lowest since March 18 touched on Friday.

Against the Japanese yen JPY= , the greenback was off a touch at 108.72. The euro was a tad lower EUR= at $1.1966 while the British pound GBP= eased 0.07% to $1.3820. FRX/

The risk-sensitive Aussie dollar AUD=D3 slipped for a second straight day to be down 0.2% at $0.7715.

In commodities, oil prices were down with the Brent LCOc1 slipping 34 cents to $66.43 a barrel and U.S. crude CLc1 falling 29 cents to $62.84.

Gold was up 0.2% at $1,779.3 an ounce XAU= .

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Asia stock markets Asia-Pacific valuations

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Editing by Michael Perry)

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  • satyabrata nayak @satyabrata nayak
    Asian share will boom very soon ...this is the time to buy heavily
    Like 1

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