Stocks in Asia Mixed; Treasuries Steady Before Fed: Markets Wrap

Publikuota: 2018-09-26
Paulo Whitaker („Reuters“ / „Scanpix“) nuotr.
Paulo Whitaker („Reuters“ / „Scanpix“) nuotr.
 

Stocks in Asia traded mixed as traders awaited the Federal Reserve meeting. The dollar and U.S. Treasuries were steady, with yields near the seven-year highs reached in May.

Japan’s Topix index erased virtually all of the days losses to end just below its highest point in almost eight months. Stocks rallied in Hong Kong as traders returned from a holiday. Chinese stocks rose after MSCI Inc. said it’s considering increasing the weight of the shares in its global indexes from next year. European equity-index futures showed a muted open. President Donald Trump told the United Nations that the trade deficit with China “is just not acceptable,” in a reminder of deepening trade tensions. Brent stabilized near a four-year high.

Investors are seeking direction in the face of mounting political, trade and policy headwinds and what could be a long and bruising conflict between the U.S. and China following the Asian nation’s decision to call off planned talks after the latest round of tariffs. Traders now turn to the Fed’s policy meeting, which will likely see the year’s third interest-rate increase and feature fresh projections for the next few years.

Ten-year Treasury yields are just below 3.10 percent, while two-year yields are at a decade high ahead of the Fed statement and press briefing by Chairman Jerome Powell.

“The U.S. domestic economy is trotting along nicely; the rest of the world is not in the same place and there’s no doubt that global investor caution is continuing to increase as the trade war between the U.S. and China appears to be heating up,” Nick Twidale, chief operating officer at Rakuten Securities Australia, wrote in a note. “Analysts will be watching closely to see if the Fed acknowledges this and its potential impact on the U.S.”

Elsewhere, the New Zealand dollar climbed even with news that the country’s monthly trade deficit hit the widest on record; traders instead focused on a rebound in business confidence from a 10-year low. The pound added to gains made Monday, while Italian bonds rallied as the country crept closer to a budget. South Korea’s markets are closed for a holiday.

Here are some key events coming up this week:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with President Donald Trump in New York to discuss trade. The Fed decision on Wednesday will be followed by a press conference with Chairman Jerome Powell. Thursday sees durable goods, GDP data and jobless claims for the U.S.

These are the main moves in markets: Stocks

Japan’s Topix index ended less than 0.05 percent lower at the 3 p.m. close in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was flat. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped 1.7 percent. The Shanghai Composite index added 1.3 percent. S&P 500 futures rose 0.2 percent. The S&P 500 Index fell 0.1 percent. FTSE 100 futures were little changed as of 7:07 a.m. in London.

Currencies

The yen rose 0.1 percent to 112.87 per dollar. The offshore yuan was at 6.8718 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat. The euro traded at $1.1762. The British pound was steady at $1.3168 after gaining 0.5 percent Wednesday.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries were little changed at 3.09 percent after touching 3.1 percent, the highest since May. Australia’s 10-year bond yield fell about one basis point to 2.73 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 0.2 percent to $72.14 a barrel, while Brent was little changed at $81.88. Gold traded at $1,201.75 an ounce. LME copper fell 0.7 percent to $6,275.50 a metric ton, down for a third day.

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