Asian stocks looked primed for losses after shares tumbled in the U.S. and Europe, as rising coronavirus infections and tougher lockdowns added to worries about the economic hit from the pandemic.
Futures pointed lower in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong. S&P 500 contracts ticked higher after the benchmark lost 3.5% for its biggest drop since June, while a gauge of U.S. equity volatility surged. The dollar rose against every G-10 peer save the yen, with the Aussie among the weakest performers. Treasuries were little changed, keeping 10-year yields around 0.77%, while gold declined. Oilfell more than 5% on concern raging infections will sap demand.
In China, nearly 1,000 firms are due to release third-quarter earnings on Thursday, with traders looking to see if the results confirm the nation’s accelerating recovery.
The MSCI global equities gauge is down almost 5% this week as virus cases surge and American lawmakers failed to agree on an economic aid package before the Nov. 3 election. Germany and France are imposing stricter nationwide lockdowns, while Italy, Spain and the U.K. all reported record case numbers on Wednesday.
“We’ve got the election hanging over our heads. Then obviously Covid accelerating to the degree that it has both here in the U.S. as well as in Europe,” said Lori Heinel, deputy global chief investment officer at State Street Global Advisors. “And then you’ve got the lack of stimulus, which in our estimation is still necessary to get us through this period until we get an ultimate medical solution.”
Elsewhere, the pound steadied as European Union and U.K. negotiatorsmade progress toward resolving some of the biggest disagreements, raising hopes that a Brexit deal could be reached by early November.
These are some events to watch this week:
- Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank have monetary policy decisions Thursday, followed by briefings from Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and President Christine Lagarde.
- The Chinese Communist Party’s Central Committee holds its plenum through Friday, where it’s expected to chart the course for the economy’s development for the next 15 years.
- Brexit negotiating teams have started intense daily talks, and these are likely to continue as both sides push to finalize a deal by the middle of November.
- The first reading of U.S. third-quarter GDP Thursday is anticipated to be the strongest on record following a record dive in the prior quarter as many businesses were shuttered by the pandemic.
Here are the main moves in markets:
- S&P 500 Index futures added 0.5% as of 7:08 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge dropped 3.5% on Wednesday.
- Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.6%.
- Hang Seng futures were down 0.8%.
- Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index retreated 1.7%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index increased 0.6%.
- The yen was at 104.32 per dollar.
- The offshore yuan traded at 6.7286 per dollar.
- The euro bought $1.1747.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 0.77%.
- Australia’s 10-year yield held at 0.78%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude was at $37.44 a barrel.
- Gold was at $1,878.34 an ounce.
— With assistance by Sarah Ponczek, Claire Ballentine, and Nancy Moran
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