Early investors review: Asian stocks traded mixed Wednesday; Euro to Dollar rose
Asian stocks traded mixed Wednesday as the yuan recovered from its recent decline, which had unsettled investors amid trade tensions and prompted verbal intervention from Chinese officials.
Equities in China and Hong Kong fell, reversing gains within the first 30 minutes of trading. Shares in South Korea and Australia slid to a lesser degree, while those in Japan recovered to trade higher. China’s yuan rose for a second day after the nation’s central bank vowed to keep the currency stable and not to deploy it as a weapon in the trade conflict with the U.S. The yen gained with gold, a sign that havens remain in demand. The greenback remained under pressure ahead of a U.S. holiday Wednesday.
While reassurances from Chinese central bankers helped assuage concerns about the biggest developing economy, lifting its currency, sentiment in the stock market remains fragile after the benchmark index fell into a bear market. U.S. shares were under pressure Tuesday after a Chinese court temporarily banned chip sales by the American firm Micron Technology Inc. in the country. Next up in the trade dispute are U.S. tariffs on some Chinese goods, scheduled to come into effect on Friday.
Elsewhere, oil traded above $74 a barrel while Mexico’s peso retained most of its gains from Tuesday as investors turned optimistic about the country’s incoming president. The U.S. celebrates Independence Day on Wednesday, July 4. Stock and bond markets are closed, along with government offices.
These are key events coming up this week:
- Federal Reserve releases minutes of its June 12-13 meeting, when FOMC policy makers raised the benchmark rate a quarter point for the second time this year and lifted the median forecast to four total increases in 2018.
- U.S. payrolls are due Friday.
- Also on Friday, the U.S. is scheduled to impose tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese goods. Beijing has said it will slap tariffs on an equal value on U.S. exports including agricultural and auto exports.
Here are the main market moves:
- The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1 percent as of 2:11 p.m. Tokyo time.
- Topix index rose 0.2 percent.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.8 percent.
- Kospi index fell 0.2 percent.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.5 percent.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.2 percent.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1 percent.
- The Japanese yen rose 0.1 percent to 110.47 per dollar.
- The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.1666.
- The offshore yuan gained 0.4 percent to 6.6381 per dollar.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose less than one basis point to 2.83 percent.
- Australia’s 10-year yield dipped three basis points to 2.588 percent, the lowest in more than six months.
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.7 percent to $74.65 a barrel.
- Gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,257.38 an ounce.
- LME copper rose 1 percent to $6,555.00 per metric ton, the biggest advance in almost four weeks.