Asian Stocks Mixed on Trade Talks Wait-and-See: Markets Wrap


(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks saw mixed trading Thursday as investors awaited the outcome of high-level trade talks between the U.S. and China, and data on the Chinese economy. The dollar held overnight gains, while Treasuries consolidated.

Shares posted modest gains in Japan and Australia, and slipped in Hong Kong and Korea. Mainland Chinese equities were little changed after a rally on the Shanghai Composite Index from January lows hit 10 percent. The dollar steadied, while 10-year Treasury yields hovered around 2.70 percent following a report that showed U.S. .inflation remained contained. There was little reaction to data showing that Japan’s economy rebounded somewhat in the fourth quarter, with the yen flat.

President Donald Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Wednesday that talks to resolve the U.S. trade war with China are making good progress, helping to steady investor sentiment. U.S. inflation numbers bolstered the Federal Reserve’s decision to be patient on raising interest rates and with many major central banks talking cautiously about global growth, investor attention is firmly focused on the outlook for trade.

Elsewhere, oil continued its rebound from a two-week low, after Saudi Arabia pledged to deepen output cuts, and held most of those gains even after U.S. crude stockpiles came in larger than anticipated. The S&P 500 Index came off its highs Wednesday after Senator Marco Rubio announced a bill to tax buybacks on equal footing with dividends.

Here are some key events coming up:

Steven Mnuchin and Robert Lighthizer are in Beijing for high-level talks, and will meet China President Xi Jinping on Friday, the South China Morning Post reported.China’s exports probably fell again in January from a year earlier, but at a slower pace than in December.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.1 percent as of 9:33 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan’s Topix index rose 0.2 percent.The Shanghai Composite fell 0.3 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.2 percent. Hang Seng Index fell 0.5 percent. S&P 500 futures nudged 0.1 percent lower.

Currencies

The yen was steady at 110.95 per dollar. The offshore yuan traded at 6.7782 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged up 0.1 percent. The euro traded at $1.1267.The British pound was at $1.2854.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 2.70 percent.Australia’s 10-year bond yield dipped two basis points to 2.13 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.5 percent to $54.14 a barrel.Gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,308.81 an ounce.

–With assistance from Sarah Ponczek, Reade Pickert, Jeremy Herron, Andrew Dunn and April Ma.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in Sydney at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net, Andreea Papuc, Cormac Mullen

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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