Asian Stocks Decline as Dollar Slips on Tax News: Markets Wrap
(Bloomberg) —Asian stocks declined, suggesting a pause in a rally that lifted regional equities to the highest levels in at least a decade. The dollar came under pressure after advancing against G10 peers amid concern about the progress of U.S. tax reforms.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average fell after rallying to close at its strongest level since January 1992 on Tuesday, buoyed by corporate earnings and a weakening yen. Stocks edged lower in Hong Kong as S&P 500 Index futures declined. The dollar slipped and the yen and Australian dollar edged higher, after a report that Senate Republican leaders are considering a delay in the implementation of a corporate-tax cut. Oil and metals declined after recent rallies.
Equity indexes across the Persian Gulf were among the world’s worst performers Tuesday amid a widening crackdown on corruption in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom’s Tadawul All Share Index at one point fell the most in a year before regaining some of its losses.
Geopolitics remain a focus as U.S. President Donald Trump continues his tour of Asia. Speaking to South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Seoul, Trump said he saw some progress on North Korea and called on the rogue state to “come to the table” and make a deal on its missile and nuclear program. He added that the U.S. and South Korea will act together to confront North Korea’s actions, and that the U.S. stands ready to use its full range of military capabilities “if need be.” Meanwhile, Trump aborted plans for a surprise visit to the demilitarized zone dividing South Korea and North Korea on Wednesday due to heavy fog.
Next stop for Trump: Beijing. The U.S. president is expected to tackle issues such as North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and trade with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. Trump then attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Vietnam later this week, where he will be among 21 leaders including Xi and Russia’s Vladimir Putin. North Korea and Saudi Arabia are like to be among the dominant topics.
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Here are key events to watch out for this week:
U.S. consumer sentiment probably cooled in early November from a more than 13-year high; the University of Michigan’s report is out on Friday. OPEC releases its World Oil Outlook. Thailand is expected to leave interest rates unchanged on Wednesday. Argentina’s central bank unexpectedly raised borrowing costs. Mexico, New Zealand and Malaysia are also holding monetary-policy meetings this week. China October trade is slated for Wednesday. The European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis resume talks. Earnings season continues with announcements from Walt Disney Co., Adidas AG, and Siemens AG. European financial companies set to report include Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, Credit Agricole SA, Allianz SE and Zurich Insurance Group AG.And these are the main moves in markets:
The Nikkei 225 fell 0.3 percent as of 10:45 a.m. in Tokyo. The Topix index declined 0.1 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed near its highest since January 2008. South Korea’s Kospi index was 0.3 percent higher. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.3 percent and the Shanghai Composite Index was 0.2 percent lower. Futures on the S&P 500 fell 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge ended virtually unchanged Tuesday. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was little changed close to the highest in about 10 years. The MSCI Emerging Markets Index hovered at the highest since mid-2011.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index pared back some of Tuesday’s 0.3 percent gain, though remains close to the highest since July. The Japanese yen climbed 0.2 percent to 113.79, trading close to its weakest since March. The Aussie dollar was up 0.1 percent at 76.56 U.S. cents, and the New Zealand dollar was up 0.1 percent at 69.16 cents. The euro traded around half a cent from its weakest since July, at $1.1604.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries was steady at 2.31 percent, the lowest in almost four weeks. Australian 10-year yields held at 2.58 percent. They fell to the lowest since June earlier this week.
West Texas Intermediate crude traded at $57.13 a barrel. That’s just below its highest since mid-2015 reached earlier this week. Gold was steady at $1,276.92 an ounce. Copper was little changed at about $3.09 a pound, the lowest in about a month, after falling 2.2 percent on Tuesday when the Bloomberg Commodity Index dropped for the first time in seven days.