(Bloomberg) -- Stocks in Asia nudged higher and U.S. equity futures were steady as investors parsed the latest developments in the trade conflict and kept an eye on Alibaba’s Singles’ Day for a gauge of consumer health in China.
Shares opened modestly higher in Tokyo and Sydney, while South Korean equities were little changed. Contracts on the S&P
500 were flat after the U.S. benchmark index eked out another record high on Friday, as Treasuries continued to decline.
The 10-year yield ended the week at 1.94%. Veterans Day in the US means no Treasuries trading. President Donald Trump said trade talks with China are moving along “very nicely” and Beijing wants a trade deal “much more than I do.” The offshore yuan was steady after five weeks of gains.
Data over the weekend showed Chinese factories are threatening to drag down prices around the world as producer
prices dropped for a fourth month in October. Alibaba’s sales event kicked off with a bang, with 136 billion yuan ($19
billion) of purchases in less than five hours. The world’s biggest shopping event could help investors gauge how willing
Chinese consumers are to spend as economic growth threatens to slip below 6% and the trade war drags on.
An easing of economic worries and signs of progress toward an interim trade deal have helped lift risk assets, with global
equities rising the past five weeks. But further short-term volatility should be expected, according to Shane Oliver, head
of investment strategy at AMP Capital Investors Ltd.
“Equity valuations are OK, particularly against low bond yields, and global growth indicators are expected to improve by
next year and monetary and fiscal policy are becoming more supportive,” he said. “All of which should support decent gains for share markets on a 6-12 month horizon.”
In Spain, the Socialists are set to win the greatest number of votes from Sunday’s election, but the fragmented results
point to weeks of negotiations for party leader Pedro Sanchez if he is to form a government.
Meantime, Saudi Aramco will allow investors to start bidding for shares starting on Nov. 17. The firm said it’ll
provide the number and percentage of shares sold at a later stage, with book-building kicking off this week.
Elsewhere, the pound fluctuated after the U.K.’s sovereign credit rating was placed on negative outlook by Moody’s
Investors Service, which said the country’s ability to set policy has weakened in the Brexit era along with its commitment
to fiscal discipline.
Here are some key events coming up this week:
* Earnings include Tencent, Nissan Motor, Japan Post Bank and Mitsubishi UFJ.
* New Zealand’s policy decision is due Wednesday, with market pricing tilting in favor of an interest-rate cut.
* Fed Chairman Jerome Powell addresses the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, in Washington Wednesday. Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari speaks in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
* Thursday brings China retail sales and industrial production data.
* U.S. retail sales on Friday are forecast to rebound in October after unexpectedly falling the prior month. The health of
American spending is key to extending the record-long expansion.