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Stock futures drift after final election debate: markets wrap

US equity futures were steady with Treasury yields, while Asian stocks were mixed.
Image: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

US equity futures were steady with Treasury yields, while Asian stocks were mixed, as traders digested the final presidential debate and lawmakers in Washington continued to haggle over a spending bill. The dollar edged higher.

S&P 500 contracts were little changed while shares in Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea saw modest gains on subdued volumes. Stocks in China and Australia slipped, while European futures pointed higher. President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden debated topics including the response to Covid-19, immigration policy and health-care reform. The 10-year Treasury yield steadied around 0.85% amid data showing the labor market is still gradually recovering. The euro dipped and the yen ticked higher. Intel Corp. tumbled in after-hours trading after a tepid forecast.

Investors remained finely tuned into developments in Washington, where lawmakers continue to work toward a package to bolster the economy. While House speaker Nancy Pelosi signaled optimism on a deal with the administration, opposition remains in the Republican-controlled Senate, making a pact before the election less likely.

“The last presidential debate didn’t really add much in terms of what each would do,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. “But President Trump’s more civil, calm and reasonable approach this time around may work slightly in his favour.”

Elsewhere, there is increasing evidence that the pandemic is worsening. German infections have jumped to a record and Spain’s health minister said the spread of coronavirus is out of control in certain parts of the country. US hospitalisations for Covid-19 have reached a two-month high.

These are some of the main market moves:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 Index futures were flat as of 7.00 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge rose 0.5% on Thursday.
  • Japan’s Topix index rose 0.4%.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.3%.
  • Shanghai Composite fell 0.6%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.3%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 0.1%.
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures added 0.2%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1%.
  • The euro bought $1.1802, down 0.1%.
  • The yen was at 104.71 per dollar, up 0.1%.
  • The offshore yuan traded little changed at 6.6764 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries ticked down to 0.85%.
  • Australia’s 10-year yield rose five basis points to 0.86%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude was at $40.38 a barrel, down 0.6%.
  • Gold was flat at $1,905 an ounce.
© 2020 Bloomberg

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