TOKYO, July 20 — Asian stocks opened on a soft note today as the ongoing reporting season raised concerns about lofty expectations for earnings and traders prepare for key policy meetings from the world’s biggest central banks. The yen steadied ahead of a crucial week for the Bank of Japan.
Equity benchmarks in Japan, Australia and South Korea edged lower, while futures indicated modest declines in Hong Kong. The S&P 500 Index closed weaker Friday and Treasuries climbed as second-quarter US gross domestic product narrowly missed estimates, despite growing at the fastest pace since 2014.
Central bank policy decisions and a slew of earnings reports, including from Apple Inc, are set to dominate moves in financial markets this week. Investors will focus on whether the BOJ will fine tune its policy and look for any indications the Federal Reserve is shying away from two more interest-rate hikes before the end of this year.
Elsewhere, oil rose toward US$69 (RM280) a barrel on a draft proposal to roll back U.S. automobile efficiency requirements that may increase fuel consumption.
Here are some key events coming up this week
Earnings season continues with Apple, Berkshire Hathaway, Barclays, Tesla, Toyota, BMW, and Rio Tinto among companies reporting results. Central banks in the US, Japan, the UK, Brazil and India all meet this week.
The BOJ may tweak its yield-curve control policy and cut its CPI forecasts, while the Bank of England is expected to hike even amid Brexit gloom. The Fed is seen standing pat, as is Brazil’s central bank. The RBI will probably raise its benchmark.
US personal spending and income data for June — coming tomorrow — may be steady. Then it’s the jobs report on Friday, which is predicted to show a healthy labour market, with 193,000 new jobs, and an unemployment rate slipping back to 3.9 per cent.
China’s PMIs probably edged down in July, analysts say, buffeted by a deleveraging agenda and a trade war.
These are the main moves in markets — stocks
Japan’s Topix index fell 0.3 per cent as of 9.12am in Tokyo. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.6 per cent. South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.2 per cent. Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index retreated 0.3 per cent. Futures on the S&P 500 were down less than 0.1 per cent. The underlying measure fell 0.7 per cent Friday.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries ticked higher to near 2.96 per cent. Australia’s 10-year bond yield was steady at 2.64 per cent.
West Texas Intermediate crude increased 0.4 percent to US$69 a barrel. Gold was little changed at US$1,222.71 an ounce. — Bloomberg
Source: The Malay Mail Online