Stocks Advance; Yuan Slides to Lowest in a Year: Markets Wrap

Publikuota: 2018-07-24
An investor checks stock information on her mobile phone in front of a board at a brokerage office in Beijing, China July 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee
An investor checks stock information on her mobile phone in front of a board at a brokerage office in Beijing, China July 6, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Lee

Asian stocks climbed Tuesday as rising yields boosted financial shares. The yuan tumbled to the lowest against the dollar in more than a year on further signs of a shift by China toward monetary expansion.

Equities gained across the region, with the steepest advances among Chinese shares as the nation’s assets came into focus after the government unveiled a package of measures to boost domestic demand amid simmering trade tensions. The yuan slid as much as 0.6 percent a day after a record injection of funding for banks. China’s benchmark 10-year bond yield jumped to a four-week high.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday that the yuan is “determined by the market,” after the Trump administration criticized the recent weakening in the yuan’s exchange rate.

“We think it’s counterproductive for China and others to try and use currency actively as a tool in a trade war,” Johan Jooste, chief investment officer at Bank of Singapore, said in a Bloomberg Television interview. “In the short run, they are probably quite happy to allow some depreciation to occur -- it might soften the blow -- but longer term what you will have is a series of competitive devaluations and you are back to where you started.”

Financial stocks as a group were among the biggest gainers on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index on rising bond yields. Ten-year Treasury yields held around the highest in more than a month after speculation arose that the Bank of Japan may consider fine-tuning its stimulus programs -- reminding traders that the direction of major central banks is toward rolling back quantitative easing.

Separately, Google parent Alphabet -- a target of European regulators’ ire -- saw its shares climb in after-market trading, after reporting rising revenue from advertising.

Elsewhere, crude oil held below $68 a barrel in New York and gold declined.

Here are some key events coming up this week:

Earnings season continues with the following tech companies among those reporting: Facebook, AT&T,, Twitter, Advanced Micro Devices, Qualcomm and Intel. They are joined by global financial giants Deutsche Bank, UBS, Nomura and Visa. Others include Halliburton, Michelin, Boeing, Lockheed, Nissan and Shell. Turkey rate decision on Tuesday. Pakistan holds national elections Wednesday. European Central Bank’s policy decision Thursday. U.S. gross domestic product probably increased by about 4 percent at an annualized rate in the second quarter, the most since 2014, economists forecast ahead of Friday’s data.

These are the main moves in markets: Stocks

Japan’s Topix index was up 0.5 percent as of 2:40 p.m. in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.6 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.4 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index added 1.5 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Index gained 0.5 percent. S&P 500 Index futures ticked up 0.2 percent. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.6 percent.


The Japanese yen was little changed at 111.30 per dollar. The offshore yuan fell 0.3 percent to 6.8279 per dollar. The euro traded at $1.1683. Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was up 0.1 percent.


The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 2.95 percent after the biggest two-day jump since February. Australian 10-year government bond yields rose about 4 basis points, to 2.71 percent. China’s 10-year bond yield rose about 5 basis points to 3.57 percent.


West Texas Intermediate crude lost 0.3 percent to $67.69 a barrel. Gold fell 0.3 percent to $1,220.81 an ounce.

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