Business Headlines

Most Asian Stock Futures Signal Losses While Oil, Copper Retreat

published Apr 11th 2016, 5:59 pm, by Emma O’Brien

(Bloomberg) —
Most Asian index futures tracked a late-in-the-day retreat in U.S. stocks as Alcoa Inc. kicked off what is forecast to be the worst American earnings season since the financial crisis. Oil and copper pulled back, even as the dollar maintained losses.

Yen-denominated futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell 0.3 percent in Chicago as contracts on U.S. benchmarks also declined. Alcoa, the aluminum producer whose results traditionally mark the start of reporting, fell in after-hours New York trade when the company posted a drop in earnings and lowered its forecast for global metal demand. The greenback held a retreat against commodity-linked currencies, as U.S. crude oil snapped a two-day climb and copper futures lost 0.3 percent. Shares in New Zealand declined.

“The market lacks enough conviction to move stocks in any one direction for any one amount of time long enough for investors to sink their teeth into and rack up performance,” John Stoltzfus, chief market strategist at Oppenheimer & Co. in New York, said by phone. “There is an increased amount of skepticism and concern, mostly around earnings season. It boils down to a market that has to climb a wall of worry and has to earn its gains.”

Concern growth is continuing to slow even as central banks step up efforts to revitalize the world economy has sapped momentum from the global equity rally as investors look ahead to the first-quarter earnings season. Analysts are projecting profits for companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will contract 10 percent, compared with calls for flat earnings growth at the start of the year. Oil traders, meanwhile, are jittery ahead of a meeting this weekend of major producers where an output freeze will be discussed.

Stocks

New Zealand’s S&P/NZX 50 Index, the first major stock gauge to start trading each day in the Asia-Pacific region, slipped 0.2 percent as of 7:51 a.m. in Tokyo, dropping for a third day. Futures on neighboring Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell less than 0.1 percent in most recent trading, while those on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and Hang Seng China Enterprises indexes were down at least 0.1 percent.

S&P 500 futures slipped 0.2 percent early Tuesday, following the U.S. benchmark’s 0.3 percent retreat last session. The index reversed a climb of as much as 0.8 percent as consumer-staples and health-care stocks led declines. In Japan, Nikkei 225 futures added 0.5 percent to 15,820 as of 3 a.m. in Osaka.

The Philippines updates on trade Tuesday, while reports on Australian credit-card spending and business confidence are also due, along with Japanese machine-tool orders. Thailand reports on foreign reserves and Indian consumer prices and factory output data is scheduled.

–With assistance from Jeremy Herron. To contact the reporter on this story: Emma O’Brien in Wellington at eobrien6@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Emma O’Brien at eobrien6@bloomberg.net Tracy Withers

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© 2016 Bloomberg L.P

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