U.S. stock index futures shaved their gains to turn narrowly mixed Wednesday after a report showed private employers added less jobs than expected in March.
The Nikkei 225 surged 3 percent on Wednesday on expectations of aggressive monetary stimulus from the Bank of Japan's (BOJ) highly-anticipated policy meeting, while the rest of Asia fell on caution ahead of further risk events this week.
The unprecedented moves by the Bank of Japan on Thursday to end years of deflation brought about a breath-taking turnaround in Japanese stock markets that saw the Nikkei 225 closing up 2.2 percent by the end of the day, at four and a half year highs.
The dollar rallied from one-month lows against the yen on Tuesday, benefiting from a rally in U.S. stocks and investor caution ahead of a Bank of Japan meeting this week.
Prices for U.S. Treasurys prices slid on Tuesday as investors scooped up riskier assets, such as stocks, instead of safe-haven government debt ahead of jobs data later in the week.
Ample supplies, concerns over the pace of the U.S. recovery and a wobbly euro zone economy outweighed the prospect of stronger demand in Asia, dragging oil below $111 a barrel.
Gold fell 1.5 percent, its biggest one-day drop in more than a month, as economic optimism lifted U.S. equities to near a record high and weakened bullion's safe-haven appeal.
The stock market's catapult to record highs could be the very thing that leads to the much-awaited pullback.
European shares closed higher on Tuesday, led by the telecoms sector, which was boosted by new reports that Vodafone, the world's second largest mobile operator, could be bought.
U.S. stock index futures were higher Tuesday, looking to recover from the previous session's decline and as manufacturing data showing a continued contraction in the euro zone failed to shake gains in European stocks.
Tokyo equities lost 1 percent on Tuesday, weighed down by a strong yen while caution capped gains in the rest of Asia after weak U.S. factory data raised concerns that the effects of fiscal tightening have started to hurt the world's largest economy.
There is a high probability that the current uptrend in the S&P 500 index will continue to 1,690, says this chartist.
The dollar fell to a nearly four-week low against the yen on Monday as softer-than-expected US manufacturing data suggested the economy may have run out of steam at the end of the first quarter.
Stocks kicked off the second quarter on a sour note Monday following a weaker-than-expected ISM manufacturing report and as investors took a breather after the S&P 500 finally broke through its record close last week.
Prices for U.S. Treasurys rose on Monday, after data showed U.S. manufacturing growth slowed in March, feeding worries about the strength of the recovery.
Gold settled higher in light holiday trade, as the market digested U.S. manufacturing and construction reports that painted a mixed picture of the economy ahead of the all-important nonfarm payrolls report later in the week.
Brent crude rose above $111 a barrel in choppy trading on Monday, while U.S. crude prices fell as a pipeline leak in Arkansas threatened to increase the glut of oil in the U.S. Midwest.
Risk appetite in Asia was hurt after economic data for the region's two largest economies came in below expectations, while overall trading volume remained subdued given the closure of some markets for the Easter holidays.
The euro hovered near four-month lows against the dollar on Friday, beset by political deadlock in Italy and worries huge losses Cypriot depositors have been forced to stomach.
The start of the second quarter gives bulls a lot to think about: the US jobs report, plus central-bank meetings in Europe and Japan. Will they keep running or take a break?