Covid-19

COVID-19

Asia Stocks See Modest Gains; Dollar Extends Drop: Markets Wrap

Pedestrians wearing protective masks are reflected in an electronic stock board outside a securities firm in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, March 13, 2020. Japanese stocks tumbled, capping their worst week since 2008, as investors speculated over the scale and impact of government and central bank actions to counter the coronavirus. Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Asian stocks started the week with gains after Friday’s U.S. jobs report smashed expectations and bolstered hope of a quick economic rebound. The dollar extended its recent slump.

Equities climbed modestly in Japan, while Korean shares lost an early advance. Shanghai and Hong Kong opened higher, while Australia’s markets were closed for a holiday. S&P 500 contracts were flat after the index posted a third weekly advance last week. The dollar headed for an eighth straight day of declines, while ten-year Treasuries retained last week’s losses.
A gauge of the dollar stalls at level where it began the year

With U.S. shares close to wiping out their losses for the year, investor focus turns to the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting this week, with officials likely to re-commit to using their full range of tools to support the U.S. economy during the pandemic. Meanwhile, global governments are gradually easing their coronavirus lockdowns to revive growth while controlling the spread of Covid-19.

“Markets have responded positively to falling infection rates in the major economies, and signs of increased consumption as countries emerge from lockdown,” Gavekal Research analysts wrote in a weekend note. “But by buying at present valuations, investors appear to be pricing in a perfect Keynesian recovery in the second half of the year.”

Crude oil lost early gains Monday, taking a breather after six straight weekly advances. OPEC agreed to a one-month extension of its record oil-production cuts. Gold dipped.

What to watch this week:

  • New York City will begin re-opening after recording its first day since March with no virus fatalities. India starts a phased lifting of its nationwide lockdown. The Netherlands and Belgium plan to open bars and restaurants. New Zealand could remove most of its remaining restrictions
  • ECB President Christine Lagarde attends a European Parliament hearing Monday
  • Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government will submit a second extra budget to parliament Monday
  • Federal Reserve policy decision is Wednesday. Officials are expected to leave rates above zero and re-commit to using their full range of tools
  • OECD releases its economic outlook Wednesday, a twice-yearly analysis of the economic prospects of member countries
  • Euro-area finance ministers meet Thursday to discuss the EU’s recovery package and Eurogroup presidency succession
  • Golf’s PGA holds its first tournament since the coronavirus lockdowns — the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. Spanish soccer league La Liga will resume

Here are the major moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Japan’s Topix Index rose 0.6% as of 10:52 a.m. in Tokyo.
  • S&P 500 futures gained 0.4%. The index closed 2.6% higher Friday.
  • South Korea’s Kospi Index dipped 0.1%.
  • Shanghai Composite was up 0.4%.
  • Hang Seng Index rose 0.7%.

Currencies

  • The euro was little changed at $1.1293.
  • The British pound rose 0.2% to $1.2697.
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 109.47 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan slipped 0.2% to 7.0832 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 0.89%.
  • Japanese 10-year yields were little changed at about 0.03%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 0.2% to $39.46 a barrel.
  • Gold was little changed at $1,687 per ounce.
Gallery

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