Asian Stocks Decline as Iron Ore Futures Tumble: Markets Wrap
FOMC leaves rates unchanged, sees inflation near target
Aussie dollar erases loss as Lowe speaks in Brisbane
Australian and Chinese stocks fell further on Thursday after metals prices declined, while South Korean shares rallied and the dollar held gains in the wake of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting.
Iron ore futures tumbled amid inventory concerns in industrial metals. Bonds in Asia tracked a retreat in Treasuries after the Fed reiterated plans for gradual interest-rate increases. The Aussie dollar recouped losses after the central bank reaffirmed its faith in the jobs market. South Korean stocks climbed to a record intraday high, building on gains as foreign investors snapped up shares. Facebook Inc. shares fell in after-hours U.S. trading on concern about its sales growth.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen and at least five other central bank officials are scheduled to speak Friday, giving policy makers a chance to explain their decision more fully. The U.S. fiscal outlook may also be in play, with the House expected to vote Thursday on a new version of a health-care bill. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy says the Republican legislation will have the numbers to pass, but given the earlier struggles it’s far from a done deal.
A U.S. report Wednesday showed private payroll gains slowed in April, ahead of Friday’s key official employment report amid concern around the U.S. economy’s tepid start to the year. The next hurdle for investors to clear is Sunday’s French presidential election.
Here are key events and data releases due:
- As Brexit talks begin, the European Union is expected to Thursday publish legislative proposals that would force London’s euro clearing operations to either accept EU oversight or relocate to the continent.
- Voters in France go to the polls Sunday for the second round of presidential elections.
- Companies scheduled to release earnings this week include HSBC Holdings Plc, Time Warner Inc., and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
Here are the main moves in markets:
- The yen was little changed at 112.77 per dollar as of 11:44 a.m. in Singapore, and the euro was at $1.0893. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after gaining 0.4 percent Wednesday.
- The Aussie was little changed at 74.24 U.S. cents, having Wednesday slumped 1.5 percent, the most since November.
- The Korean won was down 0.1 percent at 1,131.75 per dollar. The Malaysian ringgit and Indonesian rupiah also both fell.
- The yield on 10-year Australian government bonds rose 4 basis points to 2.63 percent.
- Yields on 10-year Treasuries rose 4 basis points to 2.32 percent Wednesday. With Japan out for a holiday, Treasuries aren’t trading in Asia.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.1 percent after the underlying gauge slid 0.1 percent Wednesday. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index closed little changed.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.6 percent. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.7 percent.
- Copper futures were little changed after sliding 3.7 percent Wednesday, the worst tumble since 2015. Nickel rose 0.2 percent following a 3.3 percent drop, lead was up 0.2 percent, and aluminum was 0.2 percent lower. The London Metal Exchange LMEX Metals Index slumped 2.5 percent Wednesday. A measure of iron-ore futures tumbled 6.5 percent on the Dalian Commodity Exchange.
- Oil declined 0.2 percent to $47.72 a barrel.