Asia stocks to dip amid trade woes, weak data

Asia stocks to dip amid trade woes, weak data
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SYDNEY (Sept 4): Asian stocks were set for a cautious start Wednesday after declines in U.S. equities and Treasury yields following a weak American manufacturing report and amid an impasse in the trade war.

Futures pointed lower in Japan and Australia, while Hong Kong contracts were flat. Technology shares underperformed after Huawei Technologies accused the U.S. government of harassing workers and attacking its internal network. The 10-year Treasury yield slid and the dollar dropped.

August’s Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index fell below 50 indicating a contraction in U.S. manufacturing and joining a slew of weak numbers produced by factory gauges across the globe. The data caused traders to boost bets on deeper rate cuts by the Federal Reserve this year.

“We have a global manufacturing slowdown underway and a global capex slowdown underway and we expect further weakness there,” John Herrmann, director of U.S. rates strategy at MUFG Securities Americas Inc., told Bloomberg TV. “These trade negotiations aren’t going to go anyway between now and the election” for the U.S. president next year.

Meanwhile, investors are keen to see if China and the U.S. will engage in further trade discussions. Chinese and American officials are struggling to agree on a schedule for negotiations after Washington rejected Beijing’s request to delay tariffs that took effect over the weekend.

Elsewhere, the pound remained steady as U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was defeated in a parliament vote that put Britain on course for a general election. Oil slipped below $54 a barrel amid concerns an economic slowdown from the trade war may dent demand. The eye of Hurricane Dorian has started to move northwest off the U.S. coast, while the storm continues to pound Grand Bahama Island.

Here are some key events coming up:

* Bank of England Governor Mark Carney speaks before Treasury Committee on Wednesday alongside colleagues Andy Haldane, Jonathan Haskel and Gertjan Vlieghe, on the bank’s August Inflation Report; he’ll then appear alone to discuss the U.K.’s economic relationship with the EU.

* Fed speakers this week include New York Fed’s John Williams on Wednesday and Fed chair Jerome Powell on Friday.

* The U.S. jobs report on Friday is projected to show the widely watched nonfarm payrolls rose by 158,000 in August, versus 164,000 the month prior. Estimates are for unemployment to be steady at 3.7% and the average hourly earnings rate of increase to slow to 3.0%.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

* Futures on the S&P 500 Index were flat. The underlying gauge sank 0.7% on Tuesday.

* Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 0.3%.

* Hang Seng futures earlier closed flat.

* Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dipped 0.6%.

Currencies

* The yen was at 105.97 per dollar.

* The offshore yuan held at 7.1772 per dollar.

* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat after dipping on Tuesday.

* The euro bought $1.0970.

* The British pound was at $1.2088.

Bonds

* The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell three four points to 1.46%.

* Australia’s 10-year yield slipped two basis points to 0.92%.

Commodities

* West Texas Intermediate crude was steady at $53.99 a barrel.

* Gold was little changed at $1,547.60 an ounce.