Stocks Mixed as Rally Takes a Breath; Dollar Drops: Markets Wrap

Publikuota: 2018-01-24
Issei Kato („Reuters“/„Scanpix“) nuotr.
Issei Kato („Reuters“/„Scanpix“) nuotr.
 

Asia’s blazing stock rally took a pause on Wednesday as investors took stock of the best start to a year for the region since 2006. The dollar continued its decline and a strengthening yen hit Japanese shares.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slipped, with a rise in Australian stocks offset by declines in Tokyo. South Korean shares were little changed though a record winning streak for Chinese stocks in Hong Kong resumed after an early dip. Futures on the U.S. S&P 500 Index edged higher after the underlying gauge closed at a fresh record, bolstered by a strong start to the earnings season. The yen pushed past 110 per dollar for the first time since September, while the pound climbed and the euro also advanced. The 10-year Treasury yield edged higher after a second session of declines, as did German bund yields.

Traders will be turning their attention toward Thursday’s European Central Bank meeting, as well as keeping an eye on Davos, Switzerland, where the world’s business and political elites have gathered for an annual conference that will feature the leaders of the U.S., U.K. and Germany among others. The dollar remains a key focus as traders increasingly cite concerns about a widening U.S. trade deficit that’s been highlighted by President Donald Trump’s protectionist moves.

"We’re looking for the dollar to continue to depreciate against most currencies," Daniel Morris, a senior investment strategist with BNP Paribas Asset Management, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. "The U.S. economy has a current-account deficit and it needs to close that -- one way to do that is for the dollar to depreciate."

Meanwhile, oil in New York held near the highest since December 2014 as signs mount that dwindling U.S. stockpiles are contributing to a tightening global market. Bitcoin was trading around $11,000.

Here’s what to watch out for this week:

Earnings season is in full swing: Novartis, General Electric, Intel, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Starbucks and Hyundai Motor all come later in the week. Barring any last minute changes in Washington, President Donald Trump will join world leaders and senior executives in Davos for the annual World Economic Forum. The European Central Bank announces its rate decision on Thursday The U.K. House of Lords is considering Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit bill this week.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks
Euro Stoxx 50 futures were little changed in early European trading. Futures on the S&P 500 Index gained 0.1 percent to the highest on record. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index decreased 0.2 percent as of 4:15 p.m. Tokyo time. Topix index declined 0.5 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index advanced 0.1 percent, hitting the highest on record with its seventh straight advance. Kospi index increased 0.1 percent to the highest in two months. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index jumped 0.3 percent to the highest in more than a week.

Currencies
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.2 percent to the lowest in about three years on the largest drop in more than a week. The Japanese yen advanced 0.2 percent to 110.06 per dollar, the strongest in more than 19 weeks.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries gained one basis point to 2.62 percent. German 10-year bund yields were up one basis point at 0.57 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude gained less than 0.05 percent to $64.49 a barrel, the highest in more than two years. Gold gained 0.1 percent to $1,342.91 an ounce, hitting the highest in almost 20 weeks with its fifth consecutive advance. LME copper advanced 0.2 percent to $6,939.00 per metric ton.

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