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Asian Stocks Drop With U.S. Futures; Dollar Gains: Markets Wrap

When the oil price crisis appeared, it resulted in two black swan events colliding and putting the financial markets under unprecedented pressure. (Image: Adobestock)

Asian stocks edged lower and futures in the U.S. and Europe retreated, halting this week’s rally for global equities. The dollar ticked higher for the first time this week.

Shares in Hong Kong and Japan surrendered gains to trade modestly lower amid ongoing U.S.-China tensions. The U.S. Senate passed a bill that could bar some Chinese companies from listing on American exchanges. S&P 500 contracts dipped after the gauge closed higher Wednesday, when retailers reported sales that topped estimates and energy shares climbed. Treasury yields dipped while crude oil saw modest gains.
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Investors have been whipsawed by conflicting news regarding a possible vaccine for the virus, and continued to mull efforts from many governments around the world to ease lockdowns. U.S. central bankers saw the pandemic posing a severe economic threat and were also concerned by the risks to financial stability, minutes of the April 28-29 Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed.

“The direction of travel is adding to risk carefully here,” Ben Mandel, global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg TV. “We’re looking out of a fairly deep hole in terms of GDP and there’s only one way to go and the risks around the slope are fairly well understood. Policy is the incremental mover.”

Meanwhile, the Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation Wednesday that could lead to Chinese companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Baidu Inc. being barred from listing on U.S. stock exchanges amid increasingly tense relations between the world’s two largest economies.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 dropped 0.7% as of 11:23 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge rose 1.7% on Wednesday.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.5%.
  • Shanghai Composite climbed 0.1%.
  • Japan’s Topix index slid 0.2%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.2%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.3%.
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures retreated 1%.

Currencies

  • The yen was at 107.65 per dollar, down 0.1%.
  • The offshore yuan slipped 0.2% to 7.1165 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.0967, down 0.1%.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.3%.
  • The Aussie fell 0.6% to 65.57 U.S. cents.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries slid to 0.66%.
  • Australian 10-year yields dipped to 0.92%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2% to $33.57 a barrel.
  • Gold was at $1,744.84 an ounce, down 0.2%.
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