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US stocks rise on tech outlook as yen rebounds

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NEW YORK – The yen rebounded April 29 from a 34-year low against the dollar after what some traders speculate could have been the first intervention by Japanese authorities to support the weakening currency since late 2022.

Meanwhile, US shares pushed higher as last week’s tech rally continued, led by Tesla after its founder Elon Musk won key security clearances during a trip to China.

In Asia, the yen sank to 160.17 to the dollar in choppy but thin holiday trading, before suddenly bouncing back as high as 154.54.

The yen’s initial drop “was met by a wave of dollar sellers,” said David Morrison, senior market analyst at Trade Nation.

“It’s unclear whether the BoJ (Bank of Japan) has intervened directly or not, but the dollar is down this morning, while there has been little movement in crosses outside of those including either US dollars or Japanese yen.”

Masato Kanda, Japan’s vice minister of finance for international affairs, made no comment to reporters on April 29.

The Japanese currency had come under pressure again after the Bank of Japan refused to tighten monetary policy further at its meeting last week.

At the same time, forecast-topping US inflation reports have dimmed hopes that the US Federal Reserve will cut interest rates in the coming months, if at all in 2024.

Japanese officials have repeatedly said they are ready to step in if there were wild speculative movements.

On Wall Street, the major indices drifted higher, extending positive momentum from late last week.

This week’s calendar includes April jobs data, as well as surveys measuring manufacturing sector health and consumer confidence. Apple, Coca-Cola and Pfizer are among the large companies reporting quarterly earnings.

Tesla jumped nearly 15 per cent after its locally produced models were listed among electric vehicles that meet China’s data security requirements for smart cars during Musk’s whistlestop visit to the world’s biggest car market.

“There is some clear rebound fever in” Tesla shares, said Briefing.com analyst Patrick O’Hare, noting they’ve risen by nearly 40 per cent from last week.

Most Asian equity markets closed higher April 29, following through from last week’s rally on Wall Street.

Eurozone stocks slipped, but London struck another record peak before giving up most of its gains. Shares in mining giant Anglo-American climbed 2.8 per cent after rejecting a bid from Australia’s BHP, which is expected to come back with a higher offer.

In Amsterdam, Philips shares closed up around 29 per cent after the company reached a settlement to put an end to litigation in the United States over recalled sleep apnea machines. AFP

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