© . FILE PHOTO: Security guard wearing a face mask walks past the Bund Financial Bull statue on The Bund in Shanghai
By Suzanne Barlyn
() – Asian equities were set to rise on Friday after shares of Apple (O:), Amazon (O:) and Facebook (O:) surged in extended trading on Thursday, with Alphabet (O:) also climbing, while the U.S. dollar continued to slide.
The Big Tech quartet reported quarterly earnings on the same day for the first time ever, all topping Wall Street estimates.
“All of them punched the lights out with respect to their earnings numbers,” said National Australia Bank (OTC:) strategist Ray Attrill. “It looks like it should be a pretty risk positive run into the weekend,” Attrill said, also pointing to E-mini futures for the S,amp;P 500
Deemed “stay-at-home” winners as millions of Americans were ordered indoors to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, shares of the largest U.S. technology companies have hit record highs in recent months as the coronavirus pandemic has thrown the economy into its steepest contraction since the Great Depression.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures () () rose 0.06%. Australian S,amp;P/ASX 200 futures
Analysts are expecting industrial production data from Japan on Friday, along with China’s Purchasing Managers Index, a measure of factory activity.
Some fund managers also adjust their hedges on the last day of the month, which is likely to weaken the U.S. dollar and strengthen other currencies, such as the euro and Australian dollar, said Joseph Capurso, head of international economics at Commonwealth Bank of Australia (OTC:).
U.S. stock markets, oil prices and the dollar slid on Thursday as new government data underscored the deep economic impact of the coronavirus and U.S. President Donald Trump raised the possibility of delaying the November election.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average () fell 225.92 points, or 0.85%, to 26,313.65, the S,amp;P 500 () lost 12.22 points, or 0.38%, to 3,246.22 and the Nasdaq Composite () added 44.87 points, or 0.43%, to 10,587.81.
The () fell 0.591%, and remains on course for its worst monthly performance in a decade, with the euro () up 0.2% to $1.187.
The dollar has fallen on expectations the Fed will maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy for years, which risks adding inflationary pressure.
Trump repeated his claims, without evidence, of mail-in voter fraud on Thursday, writing in a Twitter post: “delay the election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”
At a White House news conference later in the day, Trump did not call again for an election delay but said he was worried about fraud and a long wait for results from counting mail ballots.
“Do I want to see a date change? No. But I don’t want to see a crooked election,” he told reporters.
New U.S. government data on Thursday underscored the deep economic impact of the coronavirus.
U.S. GDP collapsed at a 32.9% annualized rate during the second quarter, slightly less than expected, but still the deepest decline in output since the government started keeping records in 1947, the Commerce Department said.
Also jobless claims rose last week, adding to signs the momentum of economic recovery has slowed as coronavirus cases spiraled in southern and western U.S. states.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan () closed 0.06% lower.
In commodity markets, oil markets fell following Trump’s tweet. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude () futures settled down $1.35, or 3.3%, at $39.92 a barrel after falling 5% earlier in the session.