SYDNEY (Oct 25): Stocks in Asia headed for mixed start Friday after weakness in Amazon.com Inc. earnings weighed on sentiment. Treasuries were steady and the dollar advanced.
Shares opened modestly higher in Sydney, while equity futures in Japan and Hong Kong were flat. Earlier, the S&P 500 Index traded above the 3,000 level, approaching its all-time high as technology shares led gains.
That optimism is now being tested after Amazon’s first profit decline in more than two years sent its shares tumbling in after-hours trading and dragged down an exchange-traded fund tracking the Nasdaq 100.
The pound fell as Boris Johnson made a bid for a snap election. “I don’t think there is any reason to be super fearful,” Kate Moore, head of thematic strategy at the BlackRock Global Allocation Investment Team, told Bloomberg TV. “We are staying risk on.”
With the earnings season, investors are getting numerous chances to see how corporations are withstanding the effects of trade tension, slowing global economic growth and Brexit. Two key measures of U.S. business investment posted declines that were worse than analysts expected in September. Other data indicated consumers are still healthy enough to keep spending and driving growth.
Investors also watched the latest developments in the ongoing trade dispute. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence criticized China’s actions against protesters in Hong Kong while calling for greater engagement between the world’s two biggest economies. The Asian nation aims to buy at least $20 billion of agricultural products in a year if it signs a partial trade deal, people familiar with the matter said.
Elsewhere, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s bid for a snap election on Dec. 12 was up in the air after his opponents said they want to rule out a no-deal Brexit first. The pound held losses. The European Central Bank kept monetary stimulus unchanged in the final meeting of Mario Draghi’s presidency.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
* Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed as of 8 a.m. in Tokyo. The underlying gauge rose 0.2% Thursday.
* Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 were little changed.
* Hang Seng futures earlier added less than 0.1%.
* Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.2%.
* The yen was at 108.63 per dollar.
* The offshore yuan was at 7.0726 per dollar.
* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat.
* The euro bought $1.1103.
* The British pound traded at $1.2839, down 0.1%.
* The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 1.77%.
* Australia’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to 1.05%.
* West Texas Intermediate crude slid 0.2% to $56.11 a barrel.
* Gold held at $1,503.15 an ounce.