The yen was flat, euro was little changed; Equity markets in Asia were steady
Equity markets in Asia were steady as investors awaited clues on monetary policy from heads of some major central banks and kept an eye on U.S. tax reform developments. Bond yields held recent advances.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average closed little changed after swinging between a gain of 0.7 percent and a drop of 0.3 percent. The gauge had dropped for the past four days. Shares in China slipped after the country’s economic expansion dialed back a notch as factory output, investment and retail sales all decelerated. Australian stocks underperformed regional markets as Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold its entire stake in Woodside Petroleum Ltd., sending its shares down the most in a year.
Bond yields in Australia advanced for a fourth day after solid business confidence data that also gave a leg up to the Aussie dollar and after short-term U.S. Treasury yields climbed ahead of key U.S. economic data this week. The pound stayed weak amid renewed political pressure on U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May. Bitcoin clawed back some losses after extending its slump from last week’s record high to as much as 29 percent.
As investors continue to monitor developments on U.S. tax reform discussions, attention turns Tuesday to appearances from Mario Draghi, Janet Yellen, Mark Carney and Haruhiko Kuroda at a European Central Bank conference. U.S. inflation and retail sales numbers that could influence Federal Reserve interest-rate hike odds are on the docket later in the week.
Kuroda said in a speech at the University of Zurich’s Swiss Institute of International Studies on Monday that the BOJ would continue to persist with “powerful monetary easing” to ensure that rising inflation expectations and price increases are not cut short. Kuroda has repeatedly said that the central bank needs to continue with its stimulus, even as other central banks begin taking steps to tighten policy.
Data in China Tuesday still painted a picture of an economy that keeps ticking along at a solid pace. The world’s second-largest economy is on track for its first full-year acceleration in seven years, despite the dip in the October data.
Venezuela, one of the world’s riskiest credits, was declared in default by S&P Global Ratings after missing two interest payments on its debt. The nation, home to the world’s largest oil reserves, owed investors about $200 million and failed to make those payments by the end of a 30-day grace period that expired over the weekend, S&P said in a statement in which it lowered the country’s rating to SD.
Here are some key events investors are watching this week:
- This week’s data include GDP reports for Japan, Germany, Italy and the euro area, CPI in the U.S., U.K. and Spain, along with Aussie jobs and wages.
- BOE officials address the bank’s future on Thursday, while Draghi speaks a second time Friday. A string of Fed appearances may further illuminate the FOMC’s commitment to a December hike.
These are the main moves in markets:
- The Nikkei 225 Stock Average closed little changed, while the Topix index lost 0.3 percent in a fourth day of losses.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was flat, while the Shanghai Composite slid 0.7 percent.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 0.9 percent and the Kospi index in Seoul slid 0.1 percent.
- Contracts on the S&P 500 Index were down 0.1 percent. The underlying measure rose 0.1 percent on Monday.
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1 percent.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady. It’s been trading in a tight range since touching the highest since July earlier this month.
- The yen was flat at 113.63 per dollar.
- The Aussie dollar hit a four-month low of 76.10 U.S. cents in trading Tuesday, after losing 0.5 percent in the previous session. It hit 76.39 U.S. cents after figures showing improving business confidence, but dialed back after the China data.
- The euro was little changed at $1.1675.
- The British pound was at $1.3119 after losing 0.6 percent.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries was steady at 2.40 percent.
- Australia’s 10-year yield gained three basis points to 2.65 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude slid 0.3 percent to $56.62 a barrel.
- Gold was little changed at $1,276.99 an ounce.