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Nikkei 225 index scores new record close driven by Nvidia earnings

 

Japan's Nikkei 225 index surged to a record high on Thursday, driven by robust revenue projections from Nvidia, a leading U.S. semiconductor firm, which buoyed Asian technology stocks. 

Simultaneously, Chinese stocks managed to reverse initial declines, embarking on an eighth consecutive session of gains, fueled by the anticipation surrounding Beijing's economic stimulus measures. 

In the U.S., long-term bond yields maintained their position near three-month peaks, and the dollar sagged following the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting minutes, which reinforced the expectation that any potential interest rate cuts would proceed at a gradual pace, aligning with the Federal Reserve's previously stated outlook. 

The Nikkei 225 ended the trading day up 2.19% at 39,098.68, having briefly reached 39,156.97, surpassing the highs set in late December 1989 — at the peak of Japan's so-called “bubble economy” era. 

Joe Lin, executive director for investments at Golden Equator Wealth, commented on the developments to Reuters: 

"Given robust corporate earnings without frothy valuations reminiscent of the last time Japanese equities were this high, a weakening yen backdrop, along with the market responding well to the government's tilt towards greater corporate governance, it's little surprise that investor sentiment remains very positive and Japanese equities continue to surge”. 

 

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Asian stock markets follow Tokyo’s lead, broadly up on Thursday 

Elsewhere in Asia, the MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares (excluding Japan) climbed 0.56%, with notable gains in Taiwan’s stock benchmark and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, both of which recovered impressively from initial dips. 

China's leading shares also saw a 0.61% increase, fluctuating between modest gains and losses in early trading hours. 

U.S. stock index futures signalled solid gains, with S&P 500 futures up by 0.75% and Nasdaq futures seeing a 1.46% increase. Both rises followed Nvidia's announcement of a projected 233% surge in quarterly revenue, which led to a 14% increase in its stock price. 

Year-to-date, the Nikkei 225 has soared nearly 17%, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq each advancing by close to 5%, largely driven by high expectations for artificial intelligence technology — particularly Nvidia's semiconductor products. 

"Nvidia's earnings beat boosted sentiment and eased concerns over stretched valuations, providing room for the AI theme to continue to drive markets," Saxo Markets analysts wrote in a research note cited by Reuters. 

The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note slightly declined in Asian trading on Thursday to 4.3069%, remaining in proximity to the 4.332% level reached a week prior — a figure last observed in late November. 

Markets anticipate delayed interest rate cut in the U.S., bets indicate 1-in-3 chance of May reduction 

The minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting highlighted most policymakers' concerns over the premature reduction of interest rates, amidst widespread uncertainty about the optimal duration for maintaining current borrowing costs. 

This sentiment has led traders to anticipate a delayed rate cut, with market predictions suggesting a one-in-three chance for a reduction in May, as per the CME Group's FedWatch Tool. 

The U.S. dollar continued its decline from a three-month peak achieved the previous week, with the DXY dollar index, which measures the strength of the greenback against six major counterparts, dropping 0.12% to 103.86 in Asian trade on Thursday. The euro and sterling saw slight increases, with EURUSD at $1.08 (up 0.02%) and GPBUSD at $1.2624 (sterling up 0.1%), while the Japanese yen largely remained flat against the dollar at 150.275. 

When considering shares, indices, and foreign exchange (forex) for trading and price predictions, remember that trading CFDs involves a significant degree of risk and could result in capital loss.       

Past performance is not indicative of any future results. This information is provided for informative purposes only and should not be construed to be investment advice. 

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