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Stocks rise ahead of earnings; treasuries steady: markets wrap

The dollar dipped against most major peers.
Image: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Asian stocks advanced Tuesday after their US counterparts notched further all-time highs as investors awaited second-quarter earnings season. Treasury yields were steady after a solid US debt sale.

An MSCI gauge of the region’s stocks rose for a second day. Hong Kong outperformed as Chinese technology shares climbed after government approval of a Tencent Holdings deal eased concerns about stricter regulation. Shares in Taiwan touched an intraday record high. US futures fluctuated after the S&P 500 and tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 closed at new highs.

Investors are also focusing on the US inflation report and Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s testimony this week as policy makers prepare to discuss tapering stimulus as the economy recovers from the pandemic.

The US Treasury sold $58 billion of three-year notes at yields slightly higher than before the auction. A sale of $38 billion of 10-year notes was greeted by stronger demand. The dollar dipped against most major peers.

Expectations for a solid earnings season are underpinning the stock rally, as investors ponder how central banks will unwind the support driving the recovery from the pandemic. Still, inflationary pressures remain a concern, as does the spread of the delta variant and a slowdown in vaccination rates.

“Our medium-term outlook remains supported by strong growth and fundamentals: vaccination, fiscal stimulus, monetary support, and very strong earnings,” Esty Dwek, head of global market strategy at Natixis Investment Managers Solutions, said in a note. “However, the second half could prove bumpier as we these tailwinds could start to fade.”

In the Philippines, the peso and stocks declined, and bond spreads widened after Fitch Ratings changed the sovereign credit outlook to negative from stable.

Elsewhere, oil rose for the third time in four days as traders grappled with the demand implications of a Covid-19 resurgence in several regions and slowing economic growth in China.

Here are some events to watch this week:

  • Bank of America, BlackRock, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley are among firms starting the US earnings season.
  • A closely-watched inflation metric — the June US consumer price index — will offer insight into the inflationary pressures Tuesday.
  • The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s latest interest rate policy Wednesday.
  • Bank of Korea monetary decision Thursday.
  • China second-quarter GDP, key economic indicators Thursday
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell appears before the Senate Banking Committee to deliver the semi-annual Monetary Policy Report to Congress Thursday
  • Bank of Japan interest rate decision Friday

These are some of the main moves in financial markets:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 futures were little changed as of 1:43 p.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 rose 0.4%
  • Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.1%. The Nasdaq 100 rose 0.4%
  • Topix index gained 0.7%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.2%
  • Kospi index was up 0.7%
  • Hang Seng Index rose 1.9%
  • Shanghai Composite Index added 0.2%
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.1%

Currencies

  • The Japanese yen was at 110.36 per dollar
  • The offshore yuan traded at 6.4696 per dollar, up 0.1%
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.1%
  • The euro traded at $1.1868

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries edged up to 1.37%
  • Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose about two basis points to 1.33%

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude was at $74.34 a barrel, up 0.3%
  • Gold was at $1 809.81 an ounce, up 0.2%
© 2021 Bloomberg

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