Asian stocks opened in mixed fashion Wednesday as investors weighed the spreading coronavirus against expectations for policy support. Treasuries held modest losses.

Australia’s shares ticked up after earnings from the country’s biggest bank and the nation’s bond yields advanced. Japanese stocks swung in early trading, reopening after a holiday. South Korea’s equities climbed, shrugging off a surprise increase in the country’s unemployment rate. Earlier, the S&P 500 Index closed off the day’s highs Tuesday on reports of fresh antitrust scrutiny for tech firms, though still posted a fresh record. Ten-year Treasury yields were around 1.60%.

Sentiment has improved recently as confidence among some investors grows that the coronavirus outbreak will prove a short-term dynamic; hedge fund chief Ray Dalio said as much Tuesday. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the central bank is keeping a close eye on fallout from the epidemic, which continues to disrupt travel and trade.

Elsewhere, rose back above $50 a barrel in New York. Bitcoin remained above $10,000.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • The Reserve Bank of New Zealand has a policy decision on Wednesday.
  • Earnings season continues with reports including MGM Resorts International and Softbank on Wednesday; Thursday will bring Alibaba, Nissan, Credit Suisse, Airbus, Nestle and AIG.
  • Thursday sees a gauge of underlying U.S. inflation, the core consumer price index. It is forecast to increase to 0.2% in January, a faster pace than in December.
  • China and the U.S. on Friday lower tariffs on billions of dollars of respective imports as part of the trade deal signed last month.

These are the main moves in markets:


  • Japan’s Topix index was little changed as of 9:05 a.m. in Tokyo.
  • South Korea’s Kospi added 0.2%.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 were flat. The underlying gauge rose 0.2% on Tuesday.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3%.


  • The yen was steady at 109.82 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan held at 6.9680 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.0916, little changed.


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained at 1.60%.
  • Australia’s 10-year yield added three basis points to 1.05%.


  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.3% to $50.12 a barrel.
  • Gold held at $1,567.53 an ounce.

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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