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Asia Stocks Mixed; Dollar, Yuan Little Changed


Standard Group (SDG) according to Bloomberg news on 20 August 2018 - Asian equities open mixed Monday as traders look for clues from earnings reports, developments in the trade war and a meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole later in the week to gauge the outlook for markets.

Japan’s shares were off to a muted start, while South Korea’s equities rose and futures indicated Hong Kong shares may open with small declines. The dollar held on to losses sustained last week, and the 10-year Treasury yield ticked higher. The yuan steadied after stemming its recent declines amid signs China may be propping up the currency just as it prepares to restart trade negotiations with the U.S.

Bond traders are betting recent market turmoil won’t throw the Federal Reserve off its tightening course, They expect the Fed will raise rates at its next meeting and this week’s Jackson Hole symposium could provide clues as to whether such confidence is warranted as the spread between 2- and 10-year yields narrowed to the least since 2007 on Friday.

Elsewhere, Turkish markets are closed this week. That may mean low trading volumes and the possibility of sharp currency swings.

Here are some key events coming up this week:

  • Companies announcing earnings include Alibaba, Royal Bank of Canada, Lowe’s, Target, BHP Billiton, Qantas, Ping An and China’s Bank of Communications.
  • Central bankers gather at the Kansas City Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium, where Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks Friday.
  • Fed releases the minutes from its July 31 - Aug. 1 FOMC meeting.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Japan’s Topix index fell 0.2 percent as of 9:08 a.m. in Tokyo.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.2 percent.
  • South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.6 percent.
  • Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 0.4 percent.
  • S&P 500 futures were flat.

Currencies

  • The yen ticked higher to 110.44 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan was steady at 6.8385 per dollar.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed. It declined 0.5 percent Friday.
  • The euro bought $1.1435.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 2.86 percent.
  • Australia’s 10-year bond yield was little changed at 2.54 percent.

Commodities

  • WTI crude slipped 0.2 percent to $65.79 a barrel.
  • Gold was flat at $1,184.39 an ounce.