Knight Investment Limited – Asian Markets Positive – ECB and FED to Report
Asian stocks climbed after positive earnings sentiment helped boost U.S. equities, while Treasuries pushed higher as trade concerns lingered.
Shares in South Korea and Hong Kong led the region, with the MSCI Asia Pacific Index trading at the highest since early October. Earlier, the S&P 500 Index rose after profit at Walmart Inc. lifted retailers and home builders got a push from higher housing activity. Still, gains were modest as worries remained the trade truce will end March 1 without a deal, leading to fresh tariffs. The yen slipped after Japan's trade deficit came in wider than expected.
With earnings season nearing an end, the latest minutes from both the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank due this week and U.S. President Donald Trump weighing an extension of the deadline for a trade deal with China, investors have plenty to ponder with the outlook for global growth at its weakest since the global financial crisis.
The U.S.'s stance on China's yuan adds another layer to complex negotiations between the two camps in Washington that are scheduled to run through Friday. It is aimed at neutralizing any effort by Beijing to devalue its currency to counter American tariffs, people familiar with the ongoing talks said.
Elsewhere, the pound held on to gains as U.K. and European officials work on a new legal text for the contentious Irish border backstop. Gold traded near the highest since May amid increasing bullishness and West Texas crude oil slipped below $56 a barrel in New York.
Here are some key events coming up:
The Federal Reserve will on Wednesday publish minutes from its recent meeting, with the European Central Bank following suit on Thursday. Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz speaks on Thursday; ECB President Mario Draghi speaks on Friday, the same day Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe gives parliamentary testimony. An Indonesian rate decision is due Thursday.
These are the main moves in markets:
The MSCI Asia Pacific Index gained 0.6 percent as of 9:33 a.m. in Hong Kong. Japan's Topix index advanced 0.5 percent. Hang Seng Index gained 0.7 percent. South Korea's Kospi rose 0.9 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 0.2 percent. The S&P 500 Index rose 0.2 percent on Tuesday. Futures were flat.
The yen slid 0.2 percent to 110.85 per dollar. The offshore yuan rose 0.1 percent to 6.7411 per dollar. The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.1352.The British pound was steady at $1.3070.The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries ticked higher to 2.64 percent. Australia's 10-year bond yield slid to 2.11 percent.
West Texas crude slipped 0.5 percent to $55.84 a barrel. Gold added 0.2 percent to $1,343.46 an ounce.
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