Fed lifts stocks to record high and investors eye earnings boost

During the night, Global Stocks scaled record highs, with Asian Equities rising for the fifth straight session, as signs the Federal Reserve will pursue a gradual rate-tightening path and hopes of a strong earnings season lifted appetite for risk assets.

Japan’s Nikkei added 0.2%, poised for a weekly rise of 1.1%.

Chinese Shares bucked the positive trend, with the CSI 300 Index falling 0.1%, and the Shanghai Composite down 0.2%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was unchanged.

Chinese steelmakers including Baotou Steel and Baoshan Iron & Steel Co. dropped more than 1% after US President Donald Trump said he is considering quotas and tariffs to deal with steel dumping from China and others.

The MSCI World Index was almost 0.1% higher, just a whisker below an all-time intraday high hit earlier. It is on track to end the week 1.6% higher.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific Shares outside Japan advanced 0.25% to its highest level in two years. It’s set for a 3.3% gain for the week, its biggest since mid-March.

In Asia, markets are also expecting strong earnings, particularly for many of the export-reliant firms benefiting from an upturn in global demand.

Today, the Dollar pulled up 0.2% to 113.42 Yen JPY=D4, narrowing losses for the week to 0.4%.

Yesterday, Wall Street edged higher, with the major indexes .DJI .SPX .IXIC up between 0.1% and 0.2%, as stocks basked in comments by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

Expectations that S&P 500 companies will report Q2 earnings growth of 7.8% also supported Stocks. Major banks, including JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo, will report results today in the afternoon. The Dollar Index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of trade-weighted peers, was steady at 95.739, on track for a 0.3% weekly decline.

The Dollar was also supported by data showing the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week for the first time in a month and producer prices unexpectedly rose in June.

Investors are awaiting a host of US economic indicators, including core inflation, retail sales and industrial production for June later for more insight on how the Fed might proceed with monetary policy tightening this year.