Asian Stocks Set for Gains With Economy in Focus: Markets Wrap

Asian stocks looked poised to follow US equities higher, with traders awaiting a raft of economic figures over the next few days for clues on the outlook for global central bank policy.

(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks looked poised to follow US equities higher, with traders awaiting a raft of economic figures over the next few days for clues on the outlook for global central bank policy.

Equity futures for Hong Kong and Australia pointed to gains on Tuesday after the S&P 500 notched its first back-to-back advance in August. Most major currencies were little changed in early trading. The upcoming Japanese jobs report is expected to fit into the view of a central bank on hold.

Read: JAPAN PREVIEW: Job Market Gauges Were Likely Steady in July

Expect the yen to weaken to levels last seen more than 30 years ago if the Bank of Japan sticks to its dovish stance, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Over the next six months the yen is projected to reach 155 per dollar — the weakest since June 1990, according to strategists led by Kamakshya Trivedi. They had previously expected the yen to trade to 135. 

The Japanese currency hovered near 146.5 against the dollar. It has lost more than 10% this year.

August’s risk-off mood showed some signs of abating, but global equities are still poised for their worst month since September.

Employment growth in the US probably cooled and wage increases moderated in August, suggesting a further tempering of inflation risks that reduces the urgency for another Federal Reserve interest-rate hike. Euro-area inflation readings will also be in focus this week, while China’s PMI figures are expected to reinforce that the economy is going from bad to worse.

“Investors want to see economic releases this week that suggest activity is slowing enough to keep further rate hikes at bay, but not too slow to indicate the economy is headed for a recession,” said Anthony Saglimbene, chief market strategist at Ameriprise.

To Rod von Lipsey at UBS Private Wealth Management, the equity market’s pullback in August was a healthy realignment as sentiment had previously been “overly optimistic” about Fed policy and corporate earnings.

“Our base case is that most of the stock market’s gains look to be in the books for the year,” he added. “Because of this, bonds are our preferred asset class, since slower economic growth and higher-for-longer rates should be favorable for bond yields, which are currently at very attractive levels.”

Meantime, the auctions of two- and five-year Treasury notes Monday drew the highest yields since before the 2008 financial crisis, reflecting the US bond-market selloff that deepened last week in anticipation of another Fed rate increase.

Key events this week:

  • US Conference Board consumer confidence, Tuesday
  • Eurozone economic confidence, consumer confidence, Wednesday
  • US GDP, wholesale inventories, pending home sales, Wednesday
  • China manufacturing PMI, non-manufacturing PMI, Thursday
  • Japan industrial production, retail sales, Thursday
  • Eurozone CPI, unemployment, Thursday
  • ECB publishes account of July monetary policy meeting, Thursday
  • US personal spending and income, initial jobless claims, Thursday
  • China Caixin manufacturing PMI, Friday
  • Eurozone S&P Global Eurozone Manufacturing PMI, Friday
  • South African central bank governor Lesetja Kganyago, Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic, BOE’s Huw Pill, IMF’s Gita Gopinath on panel at the South African Reserve Bank conference, Friday
  • Boston Fed President Susan Collins speaks at virtual event, Friday.
  • US unemployment, nonfarm payrolls, light vehicle sales, ISM manufacturing, construction spending, Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:


  • S&P 500 futures were little changed as of 7:31 a.m. Tokyo time
  • Hang Seng futures rose 0.8%
  • S&P/ASX 200 futures rose 0.4%


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed
  • The euro was little changed at $1.0824
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 146.44 per dollar
  • The offshore yuan was little changed at 7.2925 per dollar


  • Bitcoin was little changed at $26,007.13
  • Ether rose 0.1% to $1,648.27


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined three basis points to 4.20%
  • Australia’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to 4.14%


  • West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed
  • Spot gold was little changed

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

–With assistance from Anya Andrianova.

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