The MSCI Emerging Markets Index rose the first time in seven days, adding 0.9%. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies increased 1.7%, the most since March 20. The consumer price index rose 2.1% in March from a year earlier, compared with the 2.5% median of 38 estimates in a Bloomberg survey. Russia’s Micex Index closed 1.2% higher.
The U.S. dollar weakened against 15 of 16 major peers, losing more than 0.7% versus the South African, New Zealand and Australian currencies. The euro strengthened against 13 of 16 major peers, reaching a one-month high against the dollar and a three-year high versus the yen. The yen weakened versus nine of 16 peers.
The Bank of Japan last week announced plans to double its asset purchases, prompting the yen to slid to a four-year low against the dollar.
“I think the market is still digesting the Bank of Japan announcement,” Anastasia Amoroso, a global market strategist at JPMorgan Funds, said in a phone interview. The unit manages about $400 billion. “The reaction has been very pronounced in Japan, but not so much in the U.S. or the rest of the world. More and more, investors have to be thinking about what this means in light of the search for yield.”
Thailand’s baht surged 1% against the U.S. currency, breaching 29 per dollar for the first time since 1997, as demand for the nation’s bonds rose on Japan easing. The gains were “too fast” and the Bank of Thailand is ready to intervene if the currency’s moves are not consistent with fundamentals, Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said today.
France’s 10-year bonds fell for the first time in six days. France’s 10-year yield climbed five basis points to 1.80% after falling to a record 1.709% yesterday. Austrian, Belgian, and Dutch bonds also slid and the yield on benchmark German bunds rose two basis points to 1.26%.
Copper rose 2.4% to $7,630 a metric ton and zinc gained 1.5%. China is the biggest buyer of the industrial metals. In Chile, the world’s largest copper producer, miners are holding their first nationwide strike for 24 hours to push for greater job security. West Texas Intermediate oil for May delivery increased 0.9% $94.20 a barrel for its biggest gain in two weeks.
Gold rose to a one-week high and silver jumped the most since January on speculation that central bankers in major economies will take more steps to bolster their economies, boosting demand for the metals as stores of value.
Gold futures for June delivery climbed 0.9% to $1,586.70 an ounce after touching $1,590.10, the highest for a most-active contract since April 2.
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