Asian stocks head higher on China data, markets eye Fed meeting

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SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Asian equities advanced on Tuesday and the dollar slipped, with investor sentiment supported by Chinese data and optimism about COVID-19 vaccines.

FILE PHOTO: Passersby wearing protective masks walk past an electronic board showing Japan’s Nikkei average, the exchange rate between Japanese yen against the U.S. dollar and other world’s benchmarks outside a brokerage, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Tokyo, Japan September 14, 2020. REUTERS/Issei Kato

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5%, for a fourth straight day of gains, up nearly 3% so far this year.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 put on 0.2%, reversing early losses, while EUROSTOXX 50 futures eased 0.2%.

Chinese blue chips added 0.7%, buoyed by data showing China’s industrial output rose 5.6% in August from a year ago, expanding for a fifth straight month. The yuan climbed to a 16-month high. [B9N2F802B]

“The activity data today shows that the recovery in the private sector gained momentum in August. The recovery in China has become more balanced and broad-based,” HSBC economists said in a report.

Japan’s Nikkei shed 0.5%, while South Korean shares were 0.5% higher and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index eased 0.2%.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga won a ruling party leadership vote, paving the way for Japan’s first change of leader in nearly eight years.

Strategists expect Japanese equities to take support from Suga’s win.

“He’s seen as someone who’s particularly stock market friendly. The fact that we’ve got political certainty for the next two years from someone who’s connected to the free market is going to be good news for Japan,” said Jim McCafferty, joint head of Asia Pacific equity research at Nomura.

E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.3%, while EUROSTOXX 50 futures eased 0.2%

So far this year, gains in Asia have been led by technology stocks.

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