Caution Prevails for Asia Stocks After Yen Advance: Markets Wrap

25-Feb-2017 Intellasia | Bloomberg | 6:00 AM Print This Post

A positive week for Asian stocks is ending on a cautious tone as a strengthening yen weighed on Tokyo equities and weaker metals prices pulled down shares of raw-materials companies. The dollar held on to losses.

The dollar weakened after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Fox Business that fiscal stimulus effects on the economy this year may be limited. Commodity producers dragged Australian equities lower after iron ore tumbled. Aussie traders were focused on RBA Governor Philip Lowe’s testimony to parliament. Baidu Inc. surged in after-hours trading in New York as profit topped estimates.

A fifth weekly gain for Asian shares that’s helped push the value of global equities above $70 trillion is losing momentum as money managers grapple with political uncertainty and the Federal Reserve’s schedule for lifting borrowing costs. Fed Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan urged his colleagues at the US central bank to seize opportunities to raise interest rates, even as he said they should keep their options open ahead of next month’s policy meeting.

What are traders are watching for:

Investors will be watching for any policy details when Trump addresses Congress next week.

Billionaire Warren Buffett releases his annual letter to shareholders with Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s earnings over the weekend.

Legislators in the UK will consider changes to the Brexit bill next Monday and Wednesday that may address the rights of EU citizens in Britain and give parliament a binding vote on the final deal.

Here are the main moves in markets:

The yen slipped less than 0.1 percent to 112.71 per dollar as of 9:25 a.m. in Tokyo, after rising 0.6 percent Thursday. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady after falling 0.3 percent in the previous session.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.3 percent, paring this week’s advance to 0.8 percent. Japan’s Topix index slid 0.5 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.6 percent. BHP Billiton is on course to decline 5.3 percent this week, the biggest loss since December.

The S&P 500 rose less than 0.1 percent to 2,363.81. The Dow posted a 10th day of gains, its longest streak of record closes since 1987. The Stoxx Europe 600 index slipped 0.1 percent.

Gold was little changed at $1,249.39 an ounce after rising 1 percent on Thursday.

Iron ore tumbled 4.1 percent, heading for a weekly loss.

Yields on 10-year Treasuries were little changed at 2.38 percent, after dropping four basis points on Thursday. Australia 10-year yields fell five basis points to 2.74 percent.


Category: FinanceAsia

Print This Post

Comments are closed.