Business Maverick

Stocks Rise Led by Hong Kong; Dollar Holds Drop: Markets Wrap

By Bloomberg 2 July 2020
Caption
A medical worker wearing a protective mask assists a person at a Harris County Covid-19 drive-thru testing site at Ken Pridgeon Stadium in Houston, Texas, U.S., on Wednesday, July 1, 2020. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious disease specialist, warned lawmakers that coronavirus infections could rise to 100,000 a day if behaviors don’t change. Photographer: Go Nakamura/Bloomberg

Asian stocks climbed Thursday after positive vaccine developments and U.S. data tempered concern over a jump in coronavirus cases. Treasuries and the dollar held losses.

Hong Kong shares outperformed after returning from a holiday, despite the recent tensions over China’s new national security law over the city. Stocks in Australia, China, Japan and South Korea also rose. U.S. futures ticked higher after the S&P 500 rose for a third day and the Nasdaq Composite jumped to a record. An early trial of an experimental shot from Pfizer Inc. and BioNtech SE showed it was safe, and prompted patients to produce antibodies.
S&P 500 starts new quarter looking to stay ahead of its 200-day moving average

Meantime, U.S. House of Representatives passed by unanimous consent a bill imposing sanctions on banks that do business with Chinese officials involved in cracking down on pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Relations between Washington and Beijing have soured badly in the months since the “phase one” trade deal was signed in January, while the coronavirus pandemic made many of its elements moot.

Traders also monitored minutes of the Federal Reserve’s June meeting, which revealed that various participants viewed the economy needing support “for some time.” A closely watched measure of manufacturing jumped in June to the highest in more than a year. On the virus front, California and Arizona reported their biggest daily case increases and Houston’s intensive-care units exceeded full capacity.

“There’s this inherent tension between health of the economy and health of the population,” said David Lebovitz, a global market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. “It’s going to be the way to think about what drives markets over the next couple of weeks or months.”

Elsewhere, oil edged down as traders weighed ongoing concerns about the spread of coronavirus across the U.S. south against a strong drawdown in crude stockpiles.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • The monthly U.S. jobs report will be released on Thursday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 futures rose 0.1% as of 11:50 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 climbed 0.5%.
  • Japan’s Topix Index rose 0.8%.
  • Shanghai Composite gained 0.8%.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.5%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 1%.
  • Kospi Index rose 0.8%.
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures advanced 1%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat.
  • The euro was little changed at $1.1260.
  • The yen was at 107.53 per dollar, little changed.
  • The offshore yuan was little changed at 7.0689 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 0.68%.
  • Australia’s 10-year yield remained at 0.94%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.1% to $39.79 a barrel.
  • Gold slipped 0.1% to $1,768.05 an ounce.
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