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:


  • 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%.


  • 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.


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


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

"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.