Asian Stocks Mixed as Tech Rises; Dollar Steady: Markets Wrap

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  • Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields holds just above 3%
  • Facebook, Samsung earnings ease recent concern in tech sector

Equities were mixed across the Asia Pacific as gains in technology shares were offset by declines in financials. The dollar steadied close to its highest in three months, while Treasuries pared losses.

Asian tech stocks rose alongside Nasdaq futures as positive earnings from technology heavyweights buoyed sentiment toward the sector that has been fragile of late. Samsung Electronics Co. topped estimates on booming exports of memory chips and better-than-expected sales at Facebook Inc. gave a boost to U.S. stock futures. China and Hong Kong shares fell and Japanese equities pared gains. The euro edged higher ahead of Thursday’s European Central Bank rate decision. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield dipped to 3.02 percent.

Clearing the Hurdle

U.S. stocks have historical pattern of moving higher along with interest rates

Source: LPL Financial

Average increase: 9.5%. Median increase: 5.4%.

Investors are weighing the ability of global equities, which already trade at elevated valuations, to cope with higher interest rates as the earnings season ramps up. Signs of optimism from Facebook and Samsung, the latest in what’s been a good reporting period so far, are offsetting pockets of concern around technology and industrial companies that have weighed on stocks this month.

Elsewhere, crude oil pushed higher above $68 a barrel as French President Emmanuel Macron predicted U.S. President Donald Trump will withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. A U.S. withdrawal, which isn’t backed by any of the other five countries that are part of the agreement, would lead to a period of increased tensions and uncertainty, Macron said.

These are some important events coming up this week:

  • U.S. GDP data are due Friday.
  • Earnings season continues, with Amazon.com among those due to report.
  • The European Central Bank has a rate decision on Thursday. Investors will watch for any sign that officials are preparing a shift in stimulus plans for their June meeting.
  • The Bank of Japan announces its latest policy decision Friday and releases a quarterly outlook report.
  • The leaders of North and South Korea meet Friday.

Terminal users can read more in our markets live blog.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.1 percent as of 10:59 a.m. in Tokyo.
  • Japan’s Topix index gained 0.2 percent.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index added 0.3 percent after the cash market shut 0.2 percent higher on Wednesday. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.8 percent.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.1 percent and Taiwan’s Taiex added 0.6 percent.
  • Kospi index climbs 1 percent.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slid 0.4 percent. The Shanghai Composite lost 0.5 percent.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index held on to Wednesday’s gains when the gauge rose 0.4 percent to the highest in almost 15 weeks.
  • The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.2172, paring some of the 0.5 percent decline Wednesday when it hit the weakest in almost four months.
  • The British pound traded flat at $1.3939.
  • The yen was at 109.44 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries slid one basis point to 3.02 percent.
  • Australia’s 10-year yield rose three basis points to about 2.87 percent, as markets reopened after the Anzac Day holiday.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.5 percent to $68.37 a barrel.
  • Gold was steady at $1,323.17 an ounce. 

Read more: www.bloomberg.com

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