Asian Stocks See Muted Start to Third Quarter: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks started the new quarter in a muted fashion, as investors assessed mixed data on the global economy amid concern over the coronavirus spread and Sino-American tensions.

Shares edged lower in Japan on low volumes, with sentiment capped as confidence among large manufacturers in the country fell to the lowest since 2009. Stocks ticked higher in Shanghai and Sydney, while South Korea saw a bigger advance. Hong Kong is closed for a holiday. S&P 500 futures slipped after the gauge rounded out a 20% second-quarter surge with U.S. consumer confidence posting its biggest rise since 2011. Treasuries ticked lower and the dollar edged up. Gold was near $1,800 an ounce.

Traders also weighed a new national security law for Hong Kong, where China asserted broad new powers to rein in those who criticize its rule.





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Gold closes above $1,800 an ounce for the first time since 2011

Investors are monitoring accelerating virus infections that threaten to set back reopenings and stall the economic recovery. New cases could rise to 100,000 a day if behaviors don’t change, infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci said. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stressed to Congress Tuesday that getting the coronavirus under control was vital as the U.S. economy rebounds.

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“We feel like a lot of the good news is priced in” to stock markets including the U.S., Jim McDonald, chief investment strategist at Northern Trust, said on Bloomberg TV. “The market’s got some optimism that we are going to see more of a V-shaped recovery, so there is risk of some modest disappointment as the economic effect of some of the reversals of the opening up in big states,” plays out.

After the close of regular trading, FedEx Corp. soared as the economic bellwether used an efficiency drive and a surge in health-equipment deliveries to shore up earnings. U.S. equities briefly pared gains Tuesday after the Federal Communications Commission designated Huawei Technologies Co. and ZTE Corp. as national security threats.

Here are some key events coming up:

The monthly U.S. jobs report will be released on Thursday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

Futures on the S&P 500 fell 0.3% as of 10:22 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge jumped 1.5% on Tuesday.Japan’s Topix index was little changed.Shanghai Composite rose 0.2%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.6%.South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.9%.Euro Stoxx 50 futures advanced 0.3%.

Currencies

The yen was at 107.88 per dollar, little changed.The offshore yuan traded at 7.0668 per dollar.The euro bought $1.1237, little changed.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries ticked up to 0.67%.Australia’s 10-year yield rose five basis points to 0.92%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude added 1.2% to $39.72 a barrel.Gold was at $1,782.14 an ounce.

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