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Stocks, futures waver amid delta-strain concerns: markets wrap

The dollar held an advance.
Image: Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

Asian stocks and US futures were steady Wednesday after Wall Street inched up to a record as traders weighed economic optimism against risks from a highly infectious coronavirus strain. The dollar held an advance.

Australian equities shrugged off lockdowns targeting the delta variant to climb modestly, while Japan and Hong Kong dipped, though the moves were small. US contracts fluctuated while European futures fell. Overnight, the S&P 500 eked out a gain, remaining on track for a fifth monthly advance. Moderna Inc. hit an all-time peak after saying its vaccine produced protective antibodies against the delta strain, which has spread around the world.

The dollar has firmed on haven demand due to Covid-19 flareups, a climb that has hurt gold, which is set for the biggest monthly drop in over four years.

Treasury yields were steady as traders digested the latest Fed comments. On asset purchases, Thomas Barkin said he wants to see much more US labour market progress before slowing them, while Christopher Waller said economic performance warrants thinking about pulling back on some stimulus.

Here are some events to watch in the markets this week:

  • OECD meets in Paris to finalize a proposal to overhaul global minimum corporate taxation Wednesday
  • China’s President Xi Jinping will deliver a speech as the nation marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party Thursday
  • OPEC+ ministerial meeting Thursday
  • ECB President Christine Lagarde speaks Friday
  • The U.S. jobs report is due Friday

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 futures were flat as of 7:15 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 was little changed
  • Nasdaq 100 futures were steady. The Nasdaq 100 rose 0.3%
  • Japan’s Topix index lost 0.3%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index gained 0.2%
  • South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.4%
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.5%
  • China’s Shanghai Composite Index increased 0.3%
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures dipped 0.2%

Currencies

  • The yen was at 110.48 per dollar
  • The offshore yuan was at 6.4646 per dollar
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed
  • The euro was at $1.1898

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries edged up to 1.48%
  • Australia’s 10-year bond yield was at 1.54%

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.4% to $73.31 a barrel
  • Gold was at $1 758.37 an ounce, down 0.2%
© 2021 Bloomberg

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