HONG KONG, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Asian tech stocks rose on
Thursday, following their U.S.-listed peers, though broader
gains were capped by the strength of the U.S. dollar as
investors bet on interest rates rising more quickly in the
United States than other major economies.
European stocks were expected to advance with Euro Stoxx 50
futures up 0.5% and FTSE futures 0.24% higher
in early trade, potentially indicating a rebound after a week
when rising COVID cases in Europe have weighed on market
Japan's Nikkei rose 0.8%, helped by gains in tech
stocks such as Sony, which rose 1.5%, while Hong Kong's
bruised tech index snapped six sessions of losses to
gain 0.85%, versus a 0.25% gain in the local benchmark.
Heavyweight Alibaba, up 2.7%, was among the
Analysts said the gains largely followed overnight advances
by U.S. tech stocks as investors decided a sell-off caused by
prospects of higher U.S. interest rates had gone too far.
Other share moves were more muted however. MSCI's broadest
index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
traded either side of flat, and was last 0.06% higher.
In broad terms, "when it comes to regional equities
allocation, we're watching the U.S. dollar which is making new
highs and that is a headwind for emerging market equities," said
Fook-Hien Yap, senior investment strategist at Standard
Chartered Bank wealth management.
The dollar is trading near its highest in almost five years
versus the Japanese currency at 115.3 yen, and testing a
near 18-month high against the euro which was at $1.1211.
Supporting the greenback, several U.S. Federal Reserve
policymakers said they would be open to speeding up the tapering
of the central bank's bond-buying programme if the high rate of
inflation held, and move more quickly to raise interest rates,
minutes of the Fed's Nov. 2-3 policy meeting showed.
"The market is now pricing in more than two hikes next year,
but we think that is overly aggressive. We are only looking for
about one hike next year," said Yap.
These expectations have pushed U.S. treasury yields higher,
albeit inconsistently, with benchmark 10-year notes last
yielding 1.6427% having risen as high as 1.6930% on Wednesday.
U.S. Treasuries will not trade on Thursday because of the
Thanksgiving holiday. U.S. stock markets will also be closed and
will have a shortened session on Friday.
In other central bank news, the Bank of Korea raised its
policy interest rate by 25 basis points on
Thursday, as widely expected, as concern about rising household
debt and inflation offset uncertainty around a resurgence in
Oil prices rose slightly after a turbulent few days in which
the United States said it would release millions of barrels of
oil from strategic reserves in coordination with China, India,
South Korea, Japan and Britain to try to cool oil prices after
calls to OPEC+ to pump more went unheeded. However, investors
questioned the programme's effectiveness, leading to price
Brent crude was last at $82.53 a barrel, up 0.33%,
while U.S. crude was at $7856, up 0.2%.
Spot gold edged 0.17% higher to 1791 an ounce.
(Reporting by Alun John; Editing by Christopher Cushing and