Dollar Steady; Asia Stocks Point to Softer Start: Markets Wrap

The dollar began the trading week steady with U.S. equity futures ticking up after a planned review of the U.S.-China trade deal was postponed. Asian stocks were on course to open modestly lower.

S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% in early trading, while the greenback was flat against most G-10 peers. Stock-index futures in Japan and Australia slipped, while Hong Kong contracts nudged higher. Gold traded flat after last week’s slide, while crude oil rose. The New Zealand dollar was little changed as the country’s election was delayed by four weeks until October.

The U.S. and China are postponing talks planned for over the weekend that had been aimed at reviewing progress at the six-month mark of their phase-one trade agreement, people familiar with the matter said. That comes as friction continues between the two powers and as President Donald Trump faces a tough re-election campaign. Trump on Friday officially ordered the Chinese owner of the popular music video app TikTok to sell its U.S. assets, citing national security grounds.

The nearly 50% recovery in global equities since the March lows has left a MSCI gauge close to its all-time high as investors bet central banks and governments will maintain support for ailing economies trying to rebound from virus shutdowns. Minutes due to be released on Wednesday from the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting may yield clues about whether officials plan to introduce new language in September.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • Earnings include Alibaba, JD.com, Walmart, Home Depot, BHP Group, Nvidia and Qantas.
  • The EIA’s crude oil inventory report comes out Wednesday.
  • U.S. jobless claims for the week ended Aug. 15 are due Thursday.
  • China’s loan prime rate is due Thursday.
  • On Friday come euro-area PMIs.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index added 0.2% as of 7:10 a.m. in Tokyo.
  • Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.6%.
  • Hang Seng Index futures rose 0.3%.
  • Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 1%.

Currencies

  • The yen was at 106.61 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan traded at 6.9447 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.1844.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries ended last week at 0.71%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude was at $42.30 a barrel, up 0.7%.
  • Gold rose 0.1% to $1,947.50 an ounce.

— With assistance by Justina Vasquez

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