ASIA-PAC MID-SESSION UPDATE: Nikkei 225 hits levels last seen in 1991 as USD/JPY prints fresh YTD highs

Asian stocks trade mostly higher following a spur in risk-appetite and an upbeat lead on Wall St where bourses ended the day in the green, and NASDAQ outperformed its peers amid the strength in the IT sector, after Apple rallied on the news that JP Morgan sees a 23% upside in their shares. ASX 200 (+0.5%) is lifted by resources and IT names, while Nikkei 225 (+1.8%) breached YTD highs to print levels last seen in 1991 amid currency effect and optimistic retail sales. Elsewhere, Hang Seng (+0.5%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.8%) trade with gains as trade concerns fade and the positive sentiment dominates the region.

In FX markets, the greenback is firmer and tests the 95.00 levels, while EUR/USD and GBP/USD rests near weekly lows. Elsewhere, USD/JPY is higher on safe haven outflow and printed fresh 2018 highs near 113.64, while USD/CAD initially showed mild weakness after BoC’s Governor Poloz stated the central bank will remain dependant on incoming data, before strengthening as Poloz also commented that the BoC will continue to raise rates to the neutral level.  

Finally, 10yr JGBs are lower amid the heightened risk appetite although found support ahead of 150.00 while focus turns to the 2yr JGB auction later