Asian Stocks Mixed in Holiday Trading; Euro Steady: Markets Wrap
Asian stocks were mixed in trading thinned by year-end holidays. Japanese benchmarks slipped from the highest levels since the early 1990s, while China’s currency reached its strongest since September.
The MSCI World Index was little changed alongside U.S. equity-index futures. Oil held above $58 a barrel, while commodities in China ticked lower on inventory-buildup concerns. Australia and Hong Kong markets remained shut Tuesday.
The euro was trading little changed against the dollar, and at similar levels to the end of last week, after briefly sliding on Monday. Dramatic moves have occurred in recent years in the currency and other markets at times of low liquidity, when automated trading programs can sometimes be a contributing factor. Read more here about flash crashes in currencies.
Bitcoin jumped 11 percent to $15,329, after declining for most of the past week since reaching a record high above $19,000. The tumble had coincided with several warnings from financial authorities about elevated risk in holding digital coins.
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Among the events in focus for investors this week:
- U.S. consumer confidence, home prices and trade data are on tap.
- Vietnam, which has been averaging around 6 percent growth, reports fourth-quarter GDP.
- Italy’s parliament is expected to be dissolved ahead of elections in 2018.
These are the main moves in markets:
- The MSCI World Index of developed countries ticked up, rising less than 0.1 percent at 7:44 a.m. London time.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index were little changed after the underlying gauge advanced for a fifth week last week.
- The Topix index of Japanese stocks fell 0.3 percent at the close in Tokyo, while the Nikkei 225 Stock Average slipped 0.2 percent. Investors had little reaction to Japanese data showing a drop in unemployment and slight acceleration in inflation.
- China’s Shanghai Composite index was up 0.8 percent.
- South Korea’s Kospi index slid 0.5 percent. Taiwan’s TAIEX dropped 1 percent. The nation’s stocks slid as suppliers to Apple Inc. in wake of analysts marking down their iPhone X sales estimates.
- The euro was little changed at $1.1869.
- The British pound was little changed at $1.3374.
- The Japanese yen was little changed at 113.31 per dollar.
- The People’s Bank of China raised the yuan fixing by 0.21 percent, to 6.5683 per dollar, the strongest since Sept. 20.
- Ten-year U.S. Treasury yields added 0.1 percent to 2.49 percent, near the highest since March.
- Germany’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.42 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $58.48 a barrel.
- Gold rose 0.3 percent $1,278.04 an ounce.
- Iron ore futures traded in Dalian, China, were down 3.9 percent.
- Aluminum futures traded in Shanghai fell 1.7 percent.