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Asian stocks mixed after US gains; dollar slips

Nov 22 2018 07:52
Andreea Papuc, Bloomberg

Stocks in Asia traded mixed on Thursday after a modest rebound in technology and energy shares underpinned gains in US equities. The dollar slipped amid debate about the Federal Reserve pausing interest-rate hikes in coming months.

Equity benchmarks swung between gains and losses with volumes subdued after their US counterparts closed higher in light pre-Thanksgiving trading. Japanese and Australian stocks climbed while Chinese and Korean shares fell. Trading volumes were below average in Asia given the American holiday later today and one in Japan on Friday. Oil traded below $55 a barrel as an increase in American crude inventories added to the bearish sentiment with another tweet from President Donald Trump calling for even lower prices.

Investor sentiment remains fragile following the volatility that’s rocked markets since October, wiping out equity gains for the year. Traders are having to contend with the Trump Administration’s trade war, as well as the president’s calls for the Fed to back off from raising rates with corporate credit spreads at two-year highs.

Here are some of the equity moves:

Hon Hai Precision Industry fell 1%, down for a fifth day. Foxconn Technology Group, the biggest assembler of Apple’s iPhones, warned of anemic demand and flagged deep cuts. Foxconn is known as Hon Hai in Taiwan and Asia. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group dropped as much as 3%, the most on the Topix Banks Index, after the New York Times reported that the lender was subpoenaed by US federal prosecutors in Manhattan late last year in a case involving North Korea. A2 Milk jumped almost 10%, and was among three biggest percentage gainers on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, after its rating was upgraded at First NZ Capital.

Elsewhere, bitcoin steadied after a recent sell-off. The euro gained and Italian bonds firmed on reports Italy’s government may be open to budget revisions as the European Union took a first step toward imposing fines on the country.

Coming Up

It’s a shortened trading week because of the Thanksgiving holiday in the US on Thursday. In addition, Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, marks the traditional start to the US holiday shopping season.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

Japan’s Topix index gained 0.5% as of 14:27 in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.8%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was little changed. S&P 500 futures were flat. The S&P 500 rose 0.3% and the Nasdaq 100 gained 0.8%. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3%.

Currencies

The Japanese yen was steady at 112.99/$. The offshore yuan traded at 6.9265/$. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was down 0.1%. The euro was at $1.1394. The British pound traded at $1.2781.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 3.06%. Australia’s 10-year bond yield fell three basis points to 2.66%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.4% to $54.39 a barrel. It jumped 2.3% on Wednesday, the largest gain in seven weeks. Gold added 0.1% $1 227.19 an ounce.

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equities  |  markets  |  currencies
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