SYDNEY (Oct 23): Stocks in Asia headed for a mixed start Wednesday after developments on Brexit sapped risk appetite, dragging U.S. shares lower with Treasury yields. The pound retained its slide.
Shares opened flat in Sydney, while equity futures earlier dropped in Japan and were little changed in Hong Kong. The U.K. Parliament blocked Boris Johnson’s plan to rush his Brexit deal into law, leaving proceedings in limbo and a British election looking likely. European Council President Donald Tusk responded saying he’d recommend the EU accept the U.K.’s request for an extension. The dollar edged up.
Away from politics, it’s a huge week for earnings, with about 20% of S&P 500 Index members slated to report results. So far the numbers have generally surprised positively, reassuring investors that companies are weathering slowing growth and the trade war. All the same, analysts are cutting estimates for next year as the dispute between the world’s biggest economies
continues to take a toll.
“The market wants to move higher and it is conflicted because the earnings are pretty good but the geopolitics are worrisome,” Kirk Hartman, chief investment officer at Wells Fargo Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV. “We’ll see how this plays out but certainly it is a mixed message.”
Elsewhere, oil dipped, retracing some of Tuesday’s jump triggered by a report that OPEC and allied crude producers will discuss deepening supply cuts next month.
Here are some key events coming up this week:
* Earnings season is in full swing with companies reporting including: Microsoft, Caterpillar, Amazon.com, Daimler and Kia Motors.
* Thursday brings monetary policy decisions from the European Central Bank and Bank Indonesia.
* U.S. factory orders for business equipment will provide a look into the strength of capital investment in September. The figures will show to what extent the latest tranche of tariffs on China and others is impacting investment decisions.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
* Futures on the S&P 500 Index were flat as of 8:03 a.m. in Tokyo. The underlying gauge lost 0.4% on Tuesday.
* Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 declined 0.4%.
* Hang Seng Index futures earlier rose 0.1%.
* Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed.
* The yen was at 108.49 per dollar, little changed.
* The offshore yuan held at 7.0765 per dollar.
* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady after increasing 0.1% the previous session.
* The euro bought $1.1130.
* The British pound was at $1.2880.
* The yield on 10-year Treasuries sank four basis points to 1.76%.
* Australian 10-year yields slid four basis points to 1.13%.
* West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 0.5% to $54.23 a barrel.
* Gold was at $1,488.02 an ounce.