Washington: U.S. stock-index futures advanced and the dollar headed for the longest rally since October against the yen as speculation grew the world’s largest economy is strong enough to withstand another interest-rate increase. Oil rose for the first time in three days, sending Russia’s ruble toward the biggest gain in more than a week.
Contracts on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in June climbed 0.4 percent at 11:20 a.m. in London, indicating the equities benchmark will rebound from the first weekly loss since Feb. 12. The dollar strengthened against the yen for a seventh day, while losing ground against the British pound the Australian dollar. Treasuries slipped after data on Friday showed the U.S. economy expanded more than previously estimated. The weaker yen spurred gains in Japanese shares. Trading volumes dropped as many financial markets remained shut in Europe for Easter holidays, reports Bloomberg.
Investors are becoming emboldened to fish for riskier assets as the Federal Reserve continues to give dovish signals in the face of a resilient American economy, even as growth slows in China and political upheavals rock emerging markets from Brazil to Turkey. Fed Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said global developments were “the real issue” for policy makers as they deliberate on the pace of rate increases.
“We’re now more conscious that there’s strength in the U.S. economy," said Yoshinori Ogawa, a market strategist at Okasan Securities Co. in Tokyo. “There were some views that the U.S. won’t be able to raise rates on economic concern, so the weakening dollar should take a break.”