Home > Markets > Stock Markets > Asia stocks edge up in early trading; Dollar rises

Asian stocks opened modestly in the green as investors weighed signs of economies continuing to reopen against the need for further stimulus down the road. The dollar ticked higher.

Shares in Japan, South Korea and Australia edged up, with gains shallower than overnight in the Wall Street session. S&P 500 contracts dipped after the gauge closed higher Wednesday, when retailers reported sales that topped estimates and energy shares climbed. U.S.-China tensions remain at the forefront after the Senate passed a bill that could bar some Chinese companies from listing on American exchanges. Treasuries were steady, while the rally in crude oil eased.

Investors have been whipsawed by conflicting news regarding a possible vaccine for the virus, and continued to mull efforts from many governments around the world to ease lockdowns. U.S. central bankers saw the pandemic posing a severe economic threat and were also concerned by the risks to financial stability, minutes of the April 28-29 Federal Open Market Committee meeting showed.

“The direction of travel is adding to risk carefully here," Ben Mandel, global strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, said on Bloomberg TV. “We’re looking out of a fairly deep hole in terms of GDP and there’s only one way to go and the risks around the slope are fairly well understood. Policy is the incremental mover."

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 dropped 0.2% as of 9:05 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge rose 1.7% on Wednesday.
  • Japan’s Topix index rose 0.4%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi index advanced 0.6%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.4%.

Currencies

  • The yen was at 107.66 per dollar, down 0.1%.
  • The offshore yuan was at 7.1053 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.0981, little changed.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2%.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained at about 0.68%.
  • Australian 10-year yields dipped to 0.94%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.6% to $33.69 a barrel.
  • Gold was at $1,746.48 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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