U.S. stocks rise on earnings as yen weakens; gold tops $1,400

Emerging Markets

The MSCI Emerging Markets Index climbed 1.3%, rebounding from the lowest level since November. The gauge has fallen 4.3% this year, compared with a 6.2% increase in the MSCI World Index of developed countries.

Fund flows into developed-market equities beat emerging- market peers for a ninth week, Citigroup Inc. analysts led by Markus Rosgen wrote in a report, citing EPFR data. Inflows into developed equities were dominated by the U.S. and Japan, while emerging-market equities saw $964 million outflows, they wrote.

The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index of mainland companies listed in Hong Kong jumped 3.1% today. China’s economy may rebound in the second and third quarters of the year, Zhu Baoliang, head of the State Information Center’s economic forecast department, said at a forum in Beijing. Taiwan’s Taiex Index climbed 1.8% after Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., the world’s largest contract maker of chips, forecast record quarterly sales.

Asian Currencies

China’s yuan strengthened against the dollar after the central bank signaled plans to widen a trading band that’s been limiting appreciation since October. Thailand’s baht advanced to a 16-year high, reversing earlier losses, even after central bank Governor Prasarn Trairatvorakul said the currency has started to move beyond its fundamentals.

The yen depreciated for a fourth day against the dollar, sliding 1.4% to 99.55. It declined 1.4% against the euro. Meeting for the first time since the Bank of Japan unleashed new measures aimed at delivering 2% inflation within two years, G-20 finance ministers and central bankers said today in Washington that those actions are “intended to stop deflation and support domestic demand.” They echoed their promise of February that nations will refrain from “competitive devaluation.”

Gold for immediate delivery pared gains after climbing as much as 2.6% to $1,426.05 an ounce. It fell 9.1% on April 15, the most in three decades. Prices are down about 5.8% this week, heading for the fourth weekly decline on concern European governments will follow Cyprus in selling reserves.

European Union emission permits rose 2.9% after yesterday’s 12% gain. The allowances dropped 42% on April 16 and 17 when the European Parliament rejected a proposed change to the region’s emissions-trading law that would have curbed the supply of permits temporarily.

The won rose versus 15 of 16 major counterparts, climbing to the strongest level versus the yen since October 2008. South Korean Finance Minister Hyun Oh Seok said Japan’s weakening currency is hurting his country’s economy more than North Korean threats.

Bloomberg News

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