Asia Stocks Drift; Dollar, U.S. Treasuries Steady: Markets Wrap

Publikuota: 2018-09-04
Passersby using umbrellas struggle against strong wind and rain caused by Typhoon Jebi, in Tokyo, Japan,  September 4, 2018.   REUTERS/Toru Hanai
Passersby using umbrellas struggle against strong wind and rain caused by Typhoon Jebi, in Tokyo, Japan, September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

Asian stocks were mixed Tuesday amid continuing concerns about stability in emerging markets and prospects for escalating U.S.-China trade tensions. The dollar and Treasury yields were steady.

Equity benchmarks swung between gains and losses with little direction after American exchanges were closed Monday for a holiday. The yen fluctuated after the Bank of Japan increased purchases of shorter-term bonds in its regular operations Tuesday, compensating for a reduction in the number of days on which it plans to buy them.

Emerging markets maintained declines after sliding Monday, with Argentina slumping the most even as it took further steps to restore investor confidence. The Australian dollar fell back toward a 20-month low as a wider-than-expected current-account deficit makes a potential interest-rate increase ever more distant.

Argentina and Turkey are proving the latest epicenters for crises that are denting sentiment across developing nations, where stocks have underperformed their developed counterparts thanks to trade headwinds and a rollback in liquidity injections by major central banks. U.S. stocks remain a point of light, reaching record highs last month even as the Federal Reserve prepares to raise interest rates again in September.

Meanwhile, U.S. trade negotiators are in difficult talks with their Canadian counterparts over a revision of the North American Free Trade Agreement already agreed to by the U.S. and Mexico. On the China front, President Donald Trump may announce implementation of tariffs on as much as $200 billion in additional Chinese products as soon as Thursday.

“Markets will get over this trade thing until it impacts the economic data, but this will be a volatile for markets,” Shane Oliver, AMP Capital Investors Ltd.’s head of investment strategy and chief economist said on Bloomberg Television.

Elsewhere, oil was stable after rising to the highest in almost two months in London as Iranian crude exports tumbled. The pound steadied as the U.K.’s flagship Brexit proposal came under attack at home and in Brussels.

Here are some key events coming up this week:

Reserve Bank of Australia meets Tuesday and is expected to leave rates on hold. Bank of England Governor Mark Carney on Tuesday testifies on the August inflation report and policy decision. Executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google on Wednesday testify on social media, Russia meddling. U.S. PMI data is due Tuesday, and employment reports for August are set to follow Friday.

These are the main moves in markets: Stocks

Japan’s Topix index was little changed as of the break in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.4 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was flat. Futures on the S&P 500 Index gained about 0.2 percent.


The Japanese yen was steady at 111.12 per dollar. The offshore yuan traded flat at 6.8318 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1 percent. The euro lost 0.2 percent to $1.1599.


U.S. 10-year Treasury yields held at 2.86 percent. Australia’s 10-year bond yield fell one basis point to 2.51 percent.


West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 0.4 percent to $70.05 a barrel. Gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,200.06 an ounce. LME copper was stable at $5,970 a metric ton.

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