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Asia Stocks Mixed Ahead of China Data; Oil Drops


Standard Group (SDG) according to Bloomberg news on 16 July 2018 - Asian stocks began the week in a mixed fashion as traders assessed the sustainability of last week’s relief rally ahead of a slew of Chinese economic figures. Crude declined.

Equities in Sydney fell, while shares in South Korea were gained in early trading. Japan is shut for a public holiday. Friday’s gain in U.S. stocks pushed the S&P 500 back above 2,800 as a pause in trade tensions outweighed a mixed start to the earnings season. The yen held near the weakest level since January after posting its biggest weekly slide in 10 months. Oil slipped below $71 a barrel amid speculation the Trump administration is considering tapping into emergency crude supplies.

Trade tensions eased somewhat last week as officials in Beijing appeared to moderate their response to President Donald Trump’s tariff threats amid a slowing economy, falling stock market and weakening currency. Data coming Monday, including GDP, industrial production and retail sales, will give the latest update on China’s economy, while later this week investors expect Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell to lay the groundwork for further tightening.

These are some key events coming up this week:

  • Economists forecast China will report second quarter GDP growth slowed to 6.7 percent from 6.8 percent in the previous quarter, a result that could underscore concerns that the spat with the U.S. is already starting to have an impact on the world’s biggest trading nation.
  • Earnings season continues with reports due from companies including: Bank of America, BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, American Express, Netflix, Microsoft, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and IBM.
  • U.S. President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold their first summit together.
  • Fed’s Powell delivers the semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to the Senate Banking Committee and answers lawmakers’ questions.

And here are the main market moves:

Stocks

  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.3 percent as of 10:33 a.m. in Sydney.
  • South Korea’s Kospi index gained.
  • Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.1 percent.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index were up 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge rose 0.1 percent Friday.

Currencies

  • The Japanese yen slid 0.1 percent to 112.44 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan slipped 0.1 percent to 6.7067 per dollar.
  • The euro dropped 0.1 percent to $1.1676.
  • The British pound was flat at $1.3226.
  • The kiwi dollar climbed 0.2 percent to 67.66 U.S. cents.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries dipped two basis points to 2.83 percent Friday.
  • Australian 10-year government bond yields were steady at 2.63 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude declined 0.5 percent to $70.66 a barrel.
  • Gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,241.73 an ounce.