Asia Stocks Mixed; Dollar Slips Before Powell: Markets Wrap

Publikuota: 2018-08-24
FILE PHOTO: Chinese tourists pose for photographs with a landmark statue of a bull in New York August 24, 2015. This Wednesday, the S&P 500's  bull-market run will turn 3,453 days old, which in some market watchers' eyes will make it the longest such streak in history. The debate is when, not if, the run comes to an end.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Chinese tourists pose for photographs with a landmark statue of a bull in New York August 24, 2015. This Wednesday, the S&P 500's bull-market run will turn 3,453 days old, which in some market watchers' eyes will make it the longest such streak in history. The debate is when, not if, the run comes to an end. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo
 

Asian stocks traded mixed Friday as U.S.-China trade negotiations produced no breakthrough, while the dollar slipped ahead of an address from Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell.

Shares in Japan rose, while those in China and South Korea reversed earlier losses. Hong Kong equities underperformed. Stocks in Sydney climbed and the Australian dollar jumped after Treasurer Scott Morrison replaced Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister. The yuan ticked up after China said talks with the U.S. were constructive and honest. The dollar held gains and Treasuries steadied, with attention now shifting to Powell’s scheduled comments at Jackson Hole later Friday. U.S. futures edged higher.

“Any comments on current Fed policy will draw even more than the usual attention given recent and unprecedented criticism of the Fed by President Trump,” said Larry Hatheway, chief economist at GAM Investments in London. “While Powell prefers to speak plainly and in non-technical terms, he may find reason to take a more guarded approach in order to avoid the appearance of open conflict with the Administration.”

Turmoil in emerging markets, ongoing trade tensions and high stakes going into November midterm elections in the U.S. aren’t steering bond traders away from bets that the Fed will hike rates twice by the end of the year as the economy grows fast enough to warrant tighter policy.

Elsewhere, oil is poised for its first weekly gain in two months as shrinking U.S. crude inventories, a strike in North Sea fields and impending American sanctions on Iran point to tighter supplies.

These are the main moves in markets: Stocks

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.1 percent as of 2:29 p.m. Tokyo time. Topix index rose 0.6 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.4 percent. Kospi index rose 0.4 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index advanced 0.2 percent. Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.2 percent to 2,862.50.

Currencies

The Japanese yen fell 0.1 percent to 111.42 per dollar. The offshore yuan gained 0.2 percent to 6.8771 per dollar. The euro rose 0.2 percent to $1.1565. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1 percent to 1,185.70.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose less than one basis point to 2.83 percent. Australia’s 10-year yield climbed one basis point to 2.544 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.8 percent to $68.34 a barrel. Gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,188.13 an ounce. LME copper rose 0.4 percent to $6,013.00 per metric ton.

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