Asian Stocks Drift on Trade Doubts; Treasuries Dip: Markets Wrap



(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks mostly gained in thin trading as investors awaited to see if Chinese and American officials can schedule a planned meeting this month to continue trade talks. Treasury yields ticked higher.

Shares edged higher in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Seoul, and were little changed in Sydney and Shanghai. U.S. futures pared a drop. Bloomberg reported the difficulties the two countries were having in arranging the talks, following Washington’s rejection of Beijing’s request to delay tariffs that took effect over the weekend. Cash markets for both U.S. stocks and bonds were closed for the Labor Day holiday. The dollar extended gains against peers to the highest in more than two years. The pound held losses with the U.K. facing a showdown in Parliament over delaying Brexit again.

September is off to a rocky start as markets remain sensitive to the twists and turns on trade with the chances of a resolution between the world’s two-biggest economies appearing more out of reach. Damage from the uncertainty is now being reflected in economic data: a slide in China’s official purchasing managers’ index highlighted pressures facing the world’s second-largest economy from escalating tensions. Violent confrontations in Hong Kong are also weighing on sentiment.

In the U.K., the pound fell to a two-week low and gilts rose as Parliament looked set to seek a vote that would delay Brexit by three months unless there’s a new accord with the European Union by mid-October. Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded that he would not delay under any circumstances and has threatened a snap election if he loses a vote in Parliament.

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Elsewhere, slipped below $55 a barrel amid concerns a hurricane battering the U.S. East Coast and an economic slowdown from the trade war may dent demand.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • Australia sets monetary policy on Tuesday.
  • Fed speakers include New York Fed’s John Williams (NYSE:) on Wednesday and Fed chair Jerome Powell on Friday.
  • The U.S. jobs report on Friday is projected to show nonfarm payrolls rose by 158,000 in August, slightly above the month prior. Estimates are for unemployment to be steady at 3.7% and the average hourly earnings rate of increase to slow to 3.0%.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Japan’s index rose 0.5% as of 11:05 a.m. in Tokyo.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed.
  • South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.3%.
  • Hong Kong’s rose 0.2%.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index declined 0.4%.

Currencies

  • The yen dipped 0.1% to 106.34 per dollar.
  • The ticked 0.2% up to 7.1833 per dollar.
  • Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1%.
  • The British pound lost 0.1% to $1.2053, adding to a 0.7% drop.

Bonds

  • Ten-year Treasury yields rose three basis point to 1.53%.
  • Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose two basis points to 0.94%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 0.3% to $54.93 a barrel.
  • Gold slipped 0.3% to $1,525.44 an ounce.
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