Published: Sat, March 18, 2017
Finance | By Laverne Griffith

Tokyo: Stocks hit 15-month high on yen weakness

Tokyo: Stocks hit 15-month high on yen weakness

Strong data out of China this week have sparked a fresh rally in Hong Kong stocks .HSI , while Indian shares climbed to a record high on Tuesday as investors saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi's landslide victory in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh as endorsing his economic reform agenda.

Most stock markets in Asia started the week on a high - tracking all three main Wall Street indexes - after the Labor Department said the economy created 235,000 new jobs in February, much more than estimated.

Financial stocks languished as US yields fell after the Fed raised interest rates for the second time in three months, but did not flag any plans to accelerate the pace of monetary tightening. Most investors expect it to raise rates for only the third time since they went to almost zero during the financial crisis in 2008.

The MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1 percent after posting its second-biggest daily gain this year in the previous session. The Standard & Poor's 500 index was steady at 2,373.47 and the Dow Jones industrial average ticked 0.1 percent lower, to 20,881.48. Analysts said a rate hike, only the Fed's third in a decade, is already priced into financial markets and investors will be looking to see what Fed chief Janet Yellen will be saying about the pace of future increases.

BJP stakes claim in Goa, Parrikar to be new CM
The move followed the newly-elected BJP legislators passing a resolution demanding the return of Parrikar as chief minister. Manipur governor Najma Heptullah has invited the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to form the next government in the state.

'World's heaviest woman' undergoes weight-loss surgery in Mumbai
Abd El Aty was flown to India on 11 February after her sister approached Lakdawala, a specialist weight-loss surgeon, in October. Suffering from a thyroid problem, the 37-year-old Eman gained enormous weight, which made it impossible for her to move.

Stream Lorde's new piano ballad 'Liability'
Liability , a heartfelt piano ballad, is the second taster of the upcoming album following the release of Green Light last week. The track is on the shorter side, clocking in at just under 3 minutes, but it doesn't take very long for it to make an impact.

Friday's U.S. jobs report came in well above forecasts, reinforcing expectations for a United States interest rate hike this week, and followed by several more later in the year. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 added 0.2 percent to 5,799.60 and India's Sensex was up 0.3 percent at 29,683.29. The Netherlands has its own election this week, where politicians have also railed against the European Union and immigrants.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude oil added 2 cents to $48.42 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The euro rose to $1.0633 from $1.0605.

In Singapore, gains were led by oil rig builder Keppel Corp as global oil prices rose, and on a weaker dollar, which makes greenback-denominated oil less expensive for holders of other currencies.

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