Nikkei leads gains in Asia after tech stocks boosted Wall Street

The Nikkei 225 led the gains made in the Asia-Pacific markets on Tuesday after the Wall Street witnessed a rally where the Nasdaq Composite rose more than 2 percent on optimism that the Federal Reserve may slow down interest rate hikes.

As the stocks traded higher on Tuesday, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.46 percent and the Topix gained 1.42 percent. The Japanese yen strengthened 0.42 percent against the US dollar to 130.13 — continuing to trade above 130 for the second consecutive day.

The yield on the 10-year Japanese Government Bonds maintained levels below the central bank’s upper ceiling of its tolerance range and last stood at 0.39 percent.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.44 percent. New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 pared earlier gains and last traded slightly below the flat line.

However, markets in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore remained for the Lunar New Year holidays.

On Monday, the US stocks gained as investors braced for a jam-packed week of corporate earnings and contemplated the Federal Reserve’s next rate move before officials meet later this month.

The S&P 500 advanced 1.2 percent while the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.8 percent. However, it was the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite that again led the charge, rallying 2 percent.

It came after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq rallied toward a winning week on Friday, regaining their footing after two downbeat sessions. The Dow lagged for the week, falling just less than 2 percent.

Tech stocks have so far led an uptrend across US equities to kick off the year, with the Nasdaq gaining more than 8 percent in January so far.

Chip stocks helped extend the winning streak across tech to start the week, with shares of Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia each rising 9.2 percent and 7.6 percent respectively on Monday.

Wayfair’s stock surged nearly 27 percent after the online furniture retailer said it would lay off 1,750 employees to support restructuring and cost-cutting efforts. The company also got an upgrade from JPMorgan.

Meanwhile, eyes were on Salesforce Monday after the news hedge fund Elliott Investment Management has taken a multibillion-dollar activist stake in the software giant. Shares advanced more than 3 percent.

Elsewhere, Spotify Technology shares rose roughly 2.1 percent after the company confirmed the music streaming platform will cut 6 percent of its workforce, adding to a growing bout of cost-trimming layoffs across the technology sector.

On the economic side, despite messaging from Federal Reserve officials that interest rates will move above 5 percent, markets have cheered another expected downshift to a smaller hike in February after some weaker economic data points.

Investors are also entering the throes of what appears to be a murky earnings season. Market giants including Microsoft and Tesla are scheduled to report results this week, along with dozens of other big names. The days ahead will also be packed with economic data, with a reading on gross domestic product (GDP) for the fourth quarter due out Thursday.

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