Stocks

Asian shares mixed at open as Wall Street ends with modest gains

Bloomberg | Updated on August 28, 2020

Treasury yields jumped after Jerome Powell said the Federal Reserve will remain accommodative and shift to a more relaxed approach on inflation. Asian stocks were mixed at the open after their U.S. counterparts eked out modest gains.

Stocks rose in Japan and South Korea, but dipped in Australia. S&P 500 contracts climbed after the gauge earlier reached an all-time high for a fifth day. The Nasdaq Composite also set a record before closing in the red. The dollar was steady after climbing from a two-year low.

The yield premium demanded by investors on long-maturity U.S. debt compared to short-term notes increased to the most in two months after Powell said the Fed will seek inflation that averages 2% over time, a step that implies allowing for periods of overshoots.

Monetary policy is likely to stay accommodative for even longer, said Tai Hui, chief Asia market strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management. Not only will the Fed need to provide sufficient support to help the economy through the pandemic fallout, but also policy rates should be kept low beyond that to generate sufficient inflationary pressure.

Australia’s 10-year bond yield breached 1% for the first time since June. Elsewhere, crude oil declined as Hurricane Laura weakened while crossing over land in the refinery and LNG-rich Gulf of Mexico region. Gold retreated for the fourth time in five sessions.

Global stocks are heading for a fifth week of gains as technology shares continue to push higher and investors monitor progress on vaccine developments for the pandemic. Reports showed that U.S. weekly jobless claims remained above 1 million and the economy contracted slightly less than forecast in the second quarter.

Here are some key events coming up: The U.S. Republican National Convention continues. U.S. personal spending and the PCE Deflator data are due Friday. Here are the main market moves:

Stocks

S&P 500 futures added 0.2% as of 9:18 a.m. in Tokyo. The index rose 0.2% Thursday. Japan’s Topix index advanced 0.7%. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.5%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dipped 0.6%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady. The yen was at 106.74 per dollar. The offshore yuan traded at 6.8851 per dollar. The euro bought $1.1820.

Bonds The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose three basis points to 0.78%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.3% to $42.90 a barrel. Gold was at $1,926.86, down 0.1%

Published on August 28, 2020

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