Monday, 25 May, 2015
(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks advanced, with Japan’s Topix index climbing from a 7 1/2-year high. The euro slipped against most peers as Greek leaders said the country can’t take any more austerity and it’s time for creditors to compromise. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index increased 0.2 percent by 2:25 p.m. in Tokyo, as the Topix gained 0.6 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index added 2.7 percent after its biggest weekly jump this year, while the ChiNext index of small Chinese companies retreated. The euro slipped 0.3 percent against the U.S. currency and Poland’s zloty declined after an opposition candidate won the presidency. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed near a one-month high. Palladium fell 1.2 percent. Markets in the U.S., U.K., Hong Kong and South Korea are closed Monday. The dollar capped its biggest weekly advance since September 2011 as faster-than-estimated U.S. inflation reinforced comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen that she expects to boost borrowing costs this year. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said over the weekend that the country can’t accept crushing austerity. “Inflation is speeding up a little in the U.S., and we can see the intention to raise rates sometime this year,” Shoji Hirakawa, chief equity strategist at Okasan Securities Co. in Tokyo said by phone. The Greece “situation has become highly political so it’s hard to make a judgment, but we still need to consider it a risk.” Nikkei 225 The Topix extended its longest run of daily gains since February, with the yen trading at 121.68 per dollar following last week’s 1.9 percent decline. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.6 percent, a seventh straight advance and heading for the highest close since April 2000. Exports from Japan rose 8 percent in April amid an increase in shipments to the U.S. Imports fell by 4.2 percent, exceeding the 1.1 percent drop projected by economists though up from their 14.5 percent slump in March. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.9 percent and New Zealand’s benchmark gauge added 0.3 percent. The Shanghai Composite surged 8.1 percent last week, taking its advance in the last 12 months to 128 percent. The ChiNext, which tracks start-up companies and gained 139 percent this year through Friday, fell 1.1 percent Monday. The ChiNext trades at 114 times trailing earnings. IMF Payment China and Hong Kong will start cross-border sales of funds on July 1, widening access to financial markets and capital in the world’s second-largest economy. China’s securities regulator said on its microblog Friday that it will target listed companies’ information disclosure and abnormal trading activities in an effort to clamp down on market manipulation. The euro was weaker against 15 of its 16 major peers. Greece’s Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis, who has no economic decision-making powers, said Sunday the country couldn’t and wouldn’t pay the IMF in June without a deal. Greece has made “enormous strides” and its now up to the creditors to make some moves, Varoufakis said Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show. Bloomberg’s dollar gauge rose 0.1 percent after jumping 2.6 percent last week. Speaking in Providence, Rhode Island Friday, Yellen said that she anticipates raising rates this year if the economy strengthens as she anticipates it will. Delaying the first increase until employment and inflation return to the Fed’s targets “would risk overheating the economy,” Yellen said. CPI Gains The core U.S. consumer-price index climbed 0.3 percent in April, the biggest gain since January 2013, data Friday showed. Economists had projected the rate would hold at 0.2 percent. Mixed economic reports have prompted investors to push back estimates for when the Fed will begin raising rates, helping to drive equities to all-time highs. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed in Monday trading, after the gauge slipped 0.2 percent from a record on Friday. There is no settlement Monday. The zloty slipped 0.5 percent against the euro, touching its weakest level in two months, and lost 0.8 percent to the dollar. Polish opposition candidate Andrzej Duda defeated Bronislaw Komorowski in a presidential runoff, setting up a showdown for a fall parliamentary election that may unseat one of Europe’s most economically successful governments. Duda received 52 percent in Sunday’s vote, according to an Ipsos exit poll. Komorowski, with 48 percent, conceded in a defeat that may shake up the government run by his Civic Platform allies. Palladium for immediate delivery slipped to $780.41 an ounce, while gold slipped 0.2 percent to $1,203.98. 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