GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian markets set to rise on strong U.S. equities
By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall
NEW YORK, March 15 (Reuters) - Asian stocks were set to open higher on Tuesday after Wall Street's main indexes closed at record highs and investors awaited comments from the U.S. central bank's meeting later this week.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both surged on gains in travel stocks as mass vaccinations in the United States and congressional approval of a $1.9 trillion aid bill fueled investor optimism.
Japan's Nikkei 225 futures NKc1 added 0.10%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures .HSI, HSIc1 rose 0.55%.
E-mini futures for the S&P 500 EScv1 fell 0.16%.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO rose 0.24% in early trading.
MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.04%.
Investors are focused on the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting, which will conclude on Wednesday, as rising bond yields fuel concerns for a pickup in inflation. Fed policymakers are expected to forecast that the U.S. economy will grow in 2021 by the fastest rate in decades. nL1N2L82OT
Minutes from Australia's central bank's March monetary policy meeting are due out at midday and are expected to provide commentary on bond yields and an update on it 3‑year bond yield target.
The Bank of England also meets this week on Thursday.
"Markets are likely to be in a holding pattern ahead of this ... heavy central bank-laden week," write analysts at TD Securities.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 174.82 points, or 0.53%, to 32,953.46, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 25.6 points, or 0.65%, to 3,968.94 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 139.84 points, or 1.05%, to 13,459.71. nL4N2LD3JS
Airline shares .SPCOMAIR rose as the companies pointed to concrete signs of an industry recovery as a slowing COVID-19 pandemic helps leisure bookings. nL1N2LD0WF
Germany, France and Italy hit pause on AstraZeneca AZN.L COVID-19 shots after several countries reported possible serious side-effects. nL1N2LD0O2
The development will be watched in Australia, where the vaccine is also administered.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index .STOXX was flat on Monday, after touching its highest level since February 2020. nL4N2LD2CW
Longer-term U.S. Treasury yields fell Monday as the market looked ahead to the Fed meeting and the latest government debt auctions. nL1N2LD10L
The benchmark 10-year yield US10YT=RR, which reached 1.642% last week, ended Monday down 2.8 basis points at 1.6073%.
Rising inflation expectations could prompt the Federal Open Market Committee to signal it will start raising rates sooner than expected.
In currencies trading, the dollar gained as traders cut bearish bets on the greenback to four-month lows. nL1N2LD152
The dollar index =USD rose 0.154%, with the euro EUR= down 0.03% to $1.1924.
The Australian dollar fell 0.08% versus the greenback at $0.775.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 for April settled at $65.39 a barrel, down 22 cents. Brent crude futures LCOc1 for May settled at $68.88 a barrel, losing 34 cents.
(Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
To read Reuters Markets and Finance news, click on https://www.reuters.com/finance/markets For the state of play of Asian stock markets please click on: 0#.INDEXA