Stocks gain


    SINGAPORE/NEW YORK- Asia’s stock markets rose on Tuesday as another batch of strong US economic data bolstered the global outlook, while currency and bond markets paused for breath after a month of rapid gains in the dollar and in US Treasury yields.

    MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan advanced 0.4 percent to a two-week high, while Tokyo’s Nikkei loitered just short of a two-week peak. The Dow and S&P 500 had closed at record peaks on Monday.

    Overnight, on the heels of a bumper jobs report on Good Friday, March data showed a gauge of US services activity hit a record high while at the same time markets are cheering a huge $2 trillion government spending program.

    “On aggregate, it’s good for the global economy and therefore that’s a justification to move into more cyclical-sensitive FX pairs and to buy stocks in general,” said Kyle Rodda, market analyst at brokerage IG in Melbourne.

    “Yields haven’t budged much and so tech stocks have outperformed,” he said. In Asia, chipmakers pushed Taiwan’s benchmark index up 1 percent to a record peak and broad gains lifted Australia’s ASX 200 to a seven-week high.

    The Shanghai Composite was steady, while Hong Kong’s stock market remains closed for holidays.

    European markets, which have been shut since Thursday’s close, were also poised for gains with DAX futures up 1.2 percent, EuroSTOXX 50 futures 1 percent higher and FTSE futures up 0.8 percent. S&P 500 futures were steady.

    The yield on benchmark 10-year US Treasuries was steady in New York, and in Asia on Tuesday it fell two basis points to 1.6860 percent. The US dollar held at $1.1810 per euro after posting its steepest drop in several weeks overnight.