Most Asian stocks rose Thursday as US-China talks helped sentiment and bolstered the offshore yuan. Treasuries rallied ahead of a US inflation report that may provide clues on the monetary policy outlook.
Chinese and Hong Kong shares advanced, while Japan ended flat. US and European equity contracts edged up. The S&P 500 again flirted with a record before slipping, continuing a pattern of range-bound trading also evident at a global level.
The offshore yuan climbed after the Chinese and US commerce ministers agreed to push forward trade and investment links in their first call since the start of President Joe Biden’s administration. Separately, Biden revoked Trump-era bans on TikTok and WeChat. He ordered a review of software apps from foreign adversaries and action against those that pose a security risk.
The 10-year Treasury yield extended a slide below 1.5%, signaling support for the view that the rebound from the pandemic will stoke only a transient bout of elevated inflation. Australia’s 10-year yield declined. The dollar was steady.
Traders are waiting to see if the upcoming US inflation print changes perceptions of when the Federal Reserve might begin talks about tapering asset purchases. Global equities for now are hovering around an all-time high. Meme-stock frenzy and gyrations in cryptocurrencies are among the few sources of pronounced volatility.
“Investors are of the view that the current inflationary pressure is transitory,” Ann-Katrin Petersen, Allianz Global Investors investment strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “They expect the US Federal Reserve to remain expansionary for the time being.”
The rally in commodities, one of the leading reflation plays, continued to stall. Oil slipped amid an increase in US fuel stockpiles. Bitcoin held an advance.
The European Central Bank policy decision and a Group of Seven summit lie ahead. The summit is set to vow delivery of at least 1 billion extra vaccine doses over the next year to help cover 80% of the world’s adult population.
Here are key events to watch this week:
- US consumer price index on Thursday.
- European Central Bank decision on Thursday and press conference with President Christine Lagarde.
- Iran nuclear deal talks reconvene in Vienna Thursday.
- Group of Seven leaders’ summit starts in Cornwall, England Friday.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- S&P 500 futures added 0.1% as of 7 a.m. in London. The index fell 0.2%
- Nasdaq 100 futures were little changed. The index was little changed
- Japan’s Topix index was flat
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index climbed 0.6%
- South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.5%
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.3%
- China’s Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4%
- Euro Stoxx 50 futures increased 0.1%
- The Japanese yen traded at 109.56 per dollar, up 0.1%
- The offshore yuan was at 6.3806 per dollar, rising 0.1%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was stable
- The euro was at $1.2164, falling 0.1%
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries slipped one basis point to 1.48%
- Australia’s 10-year bond yield fell more than eight basis points to 1.49%
- West Texas Intermediate crude shed 0.7% to $69.46 a barrel
- Gold was at $1 883.91 an ounce, down 0.2%