Short-End Treasuries Fall, Asia Stocks Fluctuate: Markets Wrap

Publikuota: 2018-02-21
Jeenah Moon („Sputnik“/„Scanpix“) nuotr.
Jeenah Moon („Sputnik“/„Scanpix“) nuotr.
 

Asian stocks meandered as U.S. equity futures pared gains while shorter-dated U.S. Treasuries extended declines amid a massive debt issuance. The dollar continued to strengthen.

Japanese shares ended little changed after swinging between gains and losses as S&P 500 Index futures turned lower. Stocks rose in Hong Kong, cementing a rebound from one of the worst selloffs in years at the start of the month. Yields on two-year Treasuries built on earlier gains, when the U.S. Treasury sold $179 billion of securities. The yen continued its retreat from recent highs.

The Treasury’s $258 billion of auctions slated for this week comes amid surging rates that gave impetus to one of the steepest equity selloffs in years two weeks ago. While investors seem to have adjusted to 10-year rates at a four-year high for now, the deluge of supply could push yields higher, weakening the case for owning stocks at elevated valuations.

Investors’ attention now turns to minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent meeting, due Wednesday in New York. They will also get to parse minutes from the most recent meeting of the European Central Bank.

Elsewhere, oil in New York traded below $62 a barrel ahead of U.S. government data that’s forecast to show crude inventories gained for a fourth week. Bitcoin dropped back under $11,000.

Here are some key events scheduled for this week:

The Federal Reserve will release minutes on Wednesday of its Jan. 30-31 meeting, Janet Yellen’s last as chair, where officials kept the rate unchanged. Fed policy makers speaking this week include New York Fed President William Dudley and Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is among speakers at the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum in New York City. Companies announcing earnings this week include Glencore, Woolworths, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland. Chinese markets reopen on Thursday after holidays.

These are the main moves in markets: Stocks

Japan’s Topix index ended down less than 0.1 percent in Tokyo. The Nikkei 225 Stock Average rise 0.2 percent. Australia’s S&P/200 Index ended the session little changed. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 1.4 percent. Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed. The underlying measure fell 0.6 percent, closing below its average price for the past 50 days after Walmart Inc. plunged the most since 1988. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1 percent.  The MSCI Emerging Market Index rose 0.7 percent after declining 0.5 percent on Tuesday, the biggest drop in more than a week.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.2 percent to the highest in a week. The yen slid 0.4 percent to 107.74 per dollar. It has weakened from a high of 105.55 on Feb. 16, the lowest level since November 2016. The euro was trading at $1.2328. The Australian dollar fell 0.4 percent to 78.54 U.S. cents.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries was steady at 2.89 percent. The 2-year yield rose three basis points to 2.25 percent, the highest since 2008. Australia’s 10-year yield fell almost four basis points to 2.86 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.2 percent to $61.17 a barrel. Gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,327.67 an ounce.

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