Stocks saw modest gains in China and Hong Kong, slipped in South Korea and Australia, and were little changed in Japan. Futures on the S&P 500 edged higher after the gauge closed lower, with almost six shares falling for every one that gained. The tech-heavy Nasdaq earlier dropped from a record intraday high. Traders monitored reports that some top advisers in the Trump administration are weighing proposals to undermine Hong Kong’s dollar peg to the greenback, as officials consider options to punish China for recent moves to clamp down on freedoms in the former British colony.
Benchmark Treasury yields kept overnight declines and gold traded near the highest since 2011. The dollar was steady. Brazil’s currency and stocks earlier slumped as President Jair Bolsonaro said he had tested positive for Covid-19.
Investors are pausing after a ferocious rally that fueled the S&P 500’s longest winning streak this year. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael Bostic said the renewed spread of coronavirus may threaten the pace of the recovery as businesses and consumers put plans on hold.
“It’s not unusual for stocks to take a breather at this point,” Susan Schmidt, a portfolio manager at Aviva Investors, said on Bloomberg TV. “We could see ourselves in a bit of a trading range in the next couple of weeks,” before U.S. earnings season ramps up.
Elsewhere, stocks slipped in Europe as officials lowered economic growth forecasts. Oil fluctuated around $41 a barrel with an industry report signaling a surprise gain in U.S. crude stockpiles, while concerns linger about the threat to demand from rising coronavirus infections.
Here are some key events coming up:
- The EIA crude oil inventory report comes Wednesday.
- All eyes will be on the U.S. weekly jobless claims report on Thursday.
- Singapore holds its general election on Friday.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.3% as of 11:57 a.m. in Tokyo. The index fell 1.1% on Tuesday.
- Japan’s Topix index Nikkei 225 rose 0.1%.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index climbed 0.4%.
- Shanghai Composite rose 0.5%.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.4%.
- Euro Stoxx 50 futures dipped 0.3%.
- The yen was at 107.63 per dollar, down 0.1%.
- The offshore yuan traded at 7.0187 per dollar.
- The euro bought $1.1278, little changed.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 0.65%.
- Australia’s 10-year yield remained at 0.88%.
- West Texas Intermediate oil fell 0.1% to $40.57 a barrel.
- Gold was at $1,793.03 an ounce, down 0.1%.