Stocks Pause as Catalan Deadline Looms; Kiwi Sinks: Markets Wrap
Stocks meandered as investors shrugged off Chinese economic data that showed a solid pace of growth and as the clock ticked toward Catalonias Thursday deadline to give up claims to independence. The New Zealand dollar plunged after the Labour Party won support to form a new government.
Equities in Asia came off the days highs, though benchmarks in Tokyo and Sydney finished up. Stock futures in Europe were little changed. The kiwi dollar plummeted as much as 1.3 percent after New Zealands Labour Party got the backing of the nationalist New Zealand First Party to form government. China reported its economy expanded 6.8 percent last quarter, with retail sales and industrial output accelerating in September. The dollar marked time after small gains earlier this week, and Treasury yields held above recent lows. Oil is trading around $52 a barrel and gold slipped.
A benchmark for Asian stocks continues to flirt with a record high, though after a 4 percent advance already this month, some investors may want to take a pause. The S&P 500 Index hit another all-time high overnight.
Chinas currency retreated even after data from the central bank suggested that the country is now seeing capital inflows. Yuan foreign-exchange positions on the Peoples Bank of Chinas balance sheet rose in September for the first time since October 2015. In the U.S., a solid earnings season is coinciding with higher chances of another Federal Reserve interest-rate increase by year-end. More than 80 percent of the 52 members of the S&P 500 Index that have already reported earnings for the most recent quarter beat analysts forecasts. Fed funds futures indicate a roughly 80 percent chance that U.S. policy makers will raise rates at their December meeting, up from 72 percent Friday. By then, President Donald Trump may have announced his choice for the next Fed chair, a decision thats expected in the next two weeks.
Here are details of some key events:
Australias employment rose 19,800 in September from August, above the 15,000 positions economists had estimated were added last month. The jobless rate fell to 5.5 percent. Japanese exports grew by double digits for a third straight month in September. South Koreas central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at 1.25 percent, as expected, while raising its growth outlook. Bank Indonesia later Thursday will probably leave rates on hold, ignoring President Joko Widodos view that theres still room to ease after eight cuts since the start of 2016.
Here are the main moves in markets: Stocks
Japans Topix index rose 0.3 percent at the close of trading in Tokyo. Australias S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.1 percent, while South Koreas Kospi index fell 0.1 percent. Hong Kongs Hang Seng Index was down 0.2 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index slid 0.4 percent. Euro Stoxx 50 futures were flat in early European trading. S&P 500 Index futures were little changed. The underlying gauge rose 0.1 percent on Wednesday, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 0.7 percent -- the biggest gain in five weeks. IBM surged the most since 2009 after forecasting what could be the first annual sales gain in more than five years.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed. The yen was steady at 113.04 per dollar. The kiwi fell 1.2 percent to 70.64 U.S. cents. The Australian dollar rose as much as 0.3 percent after the surprisingly strong jobs figures, before losing the gains to trade at 78.52 U.S. cents. The euro was at $1.1800. Bitcoin fell as much as 8.4 percent on Wednesday as traders balked at news that the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission may initiate oversight of initial coin offerings. It ended the session down 1.3 percent.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 2.34 percent after increasing 5 basis points in the previous session. Australias 10-year government bond yield added about 4 basis points to 2.76 percent. German 10-year bund yields rose 1 basis point to 0.41 percent.
West Texas Intermediate was steady at $52 a barrel. Gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,278.61 an ounce.
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