Stocks in Asia Face Mixed Start; Yields Slide: Markets Wrap
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Asian equities headed for a mixed start Thursday after weak U.S. economic data added to concerns about the escalating trade tensions and sent Treasuries higher.
Futures pointed to a flat open for stocks in Tokyo, while Hong Kong indicated losses. The caution comes despite U.S. equities rising Wednesday as Bloomberg reported President Donald Trump would postpone by up to six months a decision on car tariffs that was due by Saturday. The two-year Treasury yield touched the lowest level since February 2018, before paring losses, while the 10-year rate fell to 2.37%. Crude oil edged higher and the dollar steadied.
Anxiety remains after unexpectedly weak U.S. and Chinese economic numbers Wednesday heightened worries the trade war could weigh on a global economy that’s already slowing. The possibility that Trump will delay penalties on cars and end steel and aluminum tariffs helped calm investors concerns about his protectionist turn against major trade partners, outside of China.
“We do appreciate the risks around a trade deal now, so we scaled back on our overall equity positioning,” Valentijn Nieuwenhuijzen, chief investment officer at NN Investment Partners, told Bloomberg TV in London.
In the latest development, Trump signed an executive order Wednesday that could restrict Chinese telecommunication firms Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. from selling their equipment in the U.S., ratcheting up the battle for control over new 5G technology networks.
Here are some notable events coming up this week:
- Earnings this week include Cisco, Nvidia.
- Bank of Indonesia has an interest rate decision on Thursday.
- Australian unemployment is out on Thursday.
And here are the main market moves:
- Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 were little changed in Singapore.
- The S&P 500 Index rose 0.6%.
- Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.2%.
- Hang Seng futures earlier slipped 0.4%.
- The yen held at 109.58 per dollar.
- The offshore yuan was at 6.9028 per dollar.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.
- The euro was steady at $1.1204.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell four basis points to 2.37%.
- The 2-year Treasury yield dipped four basis points to 2.16%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.6% to $62.13 a barrel.
- Gold advanced less than 0.1% to $1,296.58 an ounce.
— With assistance by David Wilson, Sarah Ponczek, and Randall Jensen
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