Asian stocks rise above Fed and Biden support, but investors look for next catalysts By


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By Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks rose Thursday morning as inventors took in both US President Joe Biden‘s speech at a joint session of Congress and the latest policy decision by the Federal Reserve. South Korea gained 0.55% at 10:31 PM ET (2:31 AM GMT), even as Samsung Electronics (OTC 🙂 Co. Ltd. (KS 🙂 earnings for the first quarter of 2021 beat forecasts. . The company reported a 46% increase in first-quarter profit on strong demand for smartphones and televisions, even as a drop in chip profits after a cut in US production increased production costs. Operating profit also increased to KRW 9.4 trillion won ($ 8.44 billion) for the quarter ending March 2021, up from KRW 6.45 trillion in 2020. In Australia, it was up 0.40 %. Hong Kong was up 1.11%. China rose 0.14% and 0.32%. Japanese markets are closed for holidays. US stocks finished the previous session on an overall high note thanks to strong gains from the tech heavyweights. outperformed after Apple Inc. (NASDAQ 🙂 far exceeded revenue estimates and Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ 🙂 reported gains in sales and users. The Fed kept its level unchanged at 0.25% when it issued its decision on Wednesday, but did not offer any new clues about the future direction of its monetary policy. The Fed chairman also reiterated that the Fed would not cut asset purchases, currently at a monthly level of $ 120 billion, anytime soon. However, some investors were skeptical. “They’re seeing market prices on the Fed rate hikes even though the Fed is signaling that they don’t think they need to take action until 2023,” Natwest Markets’ chief US economist and co-director of the US told Bloomberg. global economy, Michelle Girard. The central bank’s view that inflationary pressures are likely “transitory” gave US Treasuries a boost during the previous session. However, strong corporate earnings are not enough to sustain the bullish momentum in global equities and investors are already looking for the next catalysts. Attention turned to Biden’s speech, his first in his role as president, which began by declaring that the United States is “on the move again.” He also pushed for a new spending and tax credit package, which together with an earlier infrastructure and jobs plan will cost the country about $ 4 trillion, but is a “one-time investment in a generation.” The Fed’s continued dovish stance and the prospect of further US stimulus have raised investor expectations for both inflation and interest rates. “We are facing an economy that with the help of vaccines is gathering momentum and yet we continue to see on the monetary and fiscal front that the amount of support is ongoing,” said Girard of Natwest. Investors will also look to the US during the first quarter of 2021, to be released on Friday, for more clues on the US economic recovery from COVID-19.

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