Futures pointed up for Asian markets on Wednesday, following the rise in U.S. indexes on the back of strong earnings announcements from marquee names McDonald’s and Caterpillar among others.
Stocks in Japan looked posed to rise, as Nikkei futures in Chicago traded higher by 0.71 percent at 19,215 while Osaka futures were up 0.53 percent at 19,180. Both were above the benchmark Nikkei 225‘s close of 19,079.33 yesterday.
Australian SPI futures added 0.46 percent at 5,899 against the ASX 200‘s close of 5,871.789 on Monday. Australian markets had been closed for a public holiday yesterday.
In the U.S., stocks soared as McDonald’s and Caterpillar reported solid earnings, with the Nasdaq surpassing the 6,000 mark for the first time. The Dow Jones industrial average surged 1.12 percent or 232.23 points to close at 20,996.12, the S&P 500 added 0.61 percent to finish at 2,388.61 and the Nasdaq rose 0.7 percent to close at 6,025.49.
In corporate news, Japan Post Holdings reported a $3.6 billion writedown on it’s Australian logistics unit, Toll Holdings. Japan Post also estimated losses of 40 billion yen ($362.35 million). This will be its first annual loss in around ten years.
Meanwhile, embattled Japanese conglomerate Toshiba said it would be parting ways with its auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers Aarata, according to the Nikkei. The auditor had not endorsed Toshiba’s Q3 earnings which had been released earlier this month.
BHP Billiton cut its production targets for iron ore, coking coal and copper. The miner attributed the cut in production guidance to poor weather conditions in Australia.
In currency news, the dollar traded against a basket of rival currencies at 98.835, dipping once more below the 99 handle. Meanwhile, the greenback sank against the yen, trading at 111.04, its weakest level in about a fortnight. Against the dollar, the Aussie traded at $0.7536, off the $0.756 handle seen on Monday.
Oil prices settled slightly higher after recording declines in the past six sessions but later ceded gains on a build in U.S. crude inventories. Brent crude futures settled 50 cents higher at $52.10 a barrel while U.S. crude futures settled up 33 cents to $49.56.
On the economic calendar, Australia reports Q1 CPI at 9:30 am HK/SIN while Singapore industrial production numbers for March are expected at 1:00 pm. The Bank of Japan also embarks on a two-day meeting beginning today.
Futures indicate higher open in Asia on back of solid US earnings – CNBC}