SYDNEY (Aug 24): The dollar was steady in early trading and stocks in Asia looked set for a muted start to the week, as investors monitored a mixed global picture for the coronavirus and looked ahead to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on policy. Crude oil advanced.
The greenback was steady against most G-10 peers as currency markets opened. Equity-index futures signaled a small decline when Japan begins trading, while South Korean assets will be closely watched as that country considered further restrictions to halt an infection flareup there. S&P 500 contracts opened modestly higher after U.S. shares ended Friday with a fourth week of gains and tech shares set a fresh all-time high.
Gold began the week on the back foot. Governments around the world continue to tread a fine line between easing lockdowns to revive growth and controlling any resurgence of virus cases. The pandemic passed two global milestones: 800,000 deaths and 23 million cases. U.S. infections showed signs of stabilization but concern is growing in Europe and parts of Asia.
The Fed’s annual Economic Policy Symposium — typically held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — is set for Aug. 27-28 via livestream. Powell takes the virtual stage on Thursday to speak about the Fed’s long-awaited monetary policy framework review, which has focused on a new inflation strategy.
“More clarity will no doubt be sought via this week’s Jackson Hole Symposium,” said Ben Emons, managing director for global macro strategy at Medley Global Advisors. “Meanwhile, we expect the enforcement meeting to proceed smoothly within the next several weeks,” referring to the expected review on U.S.- China trade that was delayed earlier this month.
Meantime, storms Marco and Laura rolled toward the U.S. Gulf Coast, where they’ll come ashore as hurricanes as soon as Monday. The threat prompted evacuations of off-shore energy platforms and setting residents and officials on edge from Texas to Florida.
Here are some key events coming up:
* Earnings from companies including, ICBC, PetroChina, HP Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, Best Buy and Dollar General.
* The U.S. Republican National Convention takes place, with President Donald Trump speaking the final day, Aug. 27.
* The Bank of Korea sets monetary policy and will hold a briefing on Thursday.
* Fed Chair Jerome Powell speaks at event on Thursday.
These are the main moves in markets:
* S&P 500 futures advanced 0.2% as of 8:21 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge rose 0.3% on Friday.
* Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 were little changed.
* Hang Seng Index future gained 0.3%.
* Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dipped 0.2%.
* The yen was at 105.87 per dollar, down 0.1%.
* The euro bought $1.1804.
* The offshore yuan traded at 6.9157 per dollar, up 0.1%.
* The yield on 10-year Treasuries dropped two basis points on Friday to 0.63%.
* Australia’s 10-year yield remained at 0.88%.
* West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.4% to $42.50 a barrel.
* Gold fell 0.2% to $1,936.78 an ounce.