These are the main moves in markets: Euro rose, Gold futures advanced, Asian stocks mixed
Asian stocks are set to end the week on diverging paths as Japanese shares declined, while those in Hong Kong extended a record winning streak. Volatility in the Treasuries market subsided and the euro extended its advance.
Equities rose in most Asia-Pacific markets with above-average volumes in Hong Kong and South Korea, while a stronger yen weighed on Japanese stocks. The euro was boosted by signals from the European Central Bank the economy may be strong enough to warrant scaling back crisis-era guidance on stimulus. The ECB release was the latest in a series of communications from central banks that have started waking currency markets up from a low-volatility stupor. Treasuries steadied after a sell-off sparked by rising concerns on inflation and potential rollback of purchases by China.
Bitcoin steadied after four days of losses for the largest cryptocurrency amid increasing scrutiny from regulators around the world with concerns ranging from investor losses to strains on power systems.
Attention turns to the earnings season, with investors hoping results from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. can boost optimism in the expansion of American corporate profits. The broad-based gains in equities this year are building on 2017’s stellar run amid optimism in global growth, though leading some to question valuations.
An exchange-traded fund tracking Brazilian equities dropped in after-hours U.S. trading after S&P Global Ratings cut Brazil’s sovereign credit rating deeper into junk territory.
Here are some key events and data releases scheduled for the remainder of this week:
- U.S. inflation data are forecast to show price pressures remain muted for now, giving hawks little reason to argue for faster tightening.
- JPMorgan and BlackRock Inc. are among four financial firms reporting results Friday.
- China’s export growth probably slowed somewhat, to 10.8 percent in December from November’s 12.3 percent, forecasts ahead of data on Friday show. Imports are expected to climb 15.1 percent, with the trade surplus narrowing to $37 billion.
And these are the main moves in markets:
- Japan’s Topix index fell 0.6 percent at the close in Tokyo. 7-Eleven store owner Seven & I Holdings declined with FamilyMart UNY Holdings Co. after reporting results. Fast Retailing surged 6 percent after profit topped estimates, restricting losses in the Nikkei 225 index to 0.2 percent.
- Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed after the underlying gauge rose 0.7 percent Thursday. Contracts on the U.K.’s FTSE 100 rose 0.1 percent.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed 0.7 percent. Gauges in India, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan also climbed, while South Korea’s Kospi was flat.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.2 percent, up almost 4 percent since the year began.
- The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.2046 after climbing 0.7 percent Thursday.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1 percent.
- The pound added 0.1 percent to $1.3550.
- The Korean won climbed 0.8 percent to 1,063.94 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries was steady at 2.54 percent, up about seven basis points for the week.
- Australia’s 10-year yield rose about one basis point, to 2.75 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude slid 0.6 percent to $63.42 a barrel, while Brent slid 0.2 percent to $69.10 after briefly topping $70.
- Gold futures advanced 0.5 percent to $1,329.29 an ounce, set for a fifth weekly gain.