Home > Markets > Stock Markets > Asian stocks little changed; US futures rise

Asian stocks saw a muted open Friday as rising tension between the U.S. and China added to concern about the pace of economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. U.S. futures edged higher.

Stocks were little changed in Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney, while futures in Hong Kong pointed lower. China responded to accusations from President Donald Trump, warning that it will safeguard its sovereignty, security and interests, and threatened countermeasures, dragging down a big Hong Kong exchange traded fund by almost 4%. The S&P 500 closed lower, with signs mounting that Trump will make his tough-on-China stance a key element of his re-election bid. The dollar and Treasuries were steady.

Investors will focus Friday on the opening of China’s biggest political event of the year, the National People’s Congress, where top leaders should reveal how much they’re planning to spend on stimulus to support the post-virus economy. Beijing is also preparing to impose national security legislation in Hong Kong, a show of legal force that could exacerbate tensions and threatened to reignite violent protests.

“The geopolitical risks are meaningful," David Riley, chief investment strategist at BlueBay Asset Management LLP said on Bloomberg TV. “It’s a concern for the market, is a potential source of weakness and a correction."

Meanwhile, an emergency meeting from the Bank of Japan on Friday will probably focus on new funding for struggling businesses, with no changes expected to main stimulus measures.

Elsewhere, crude oil rebounded from an earlier swoon and gold declined.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 futures rose 0.4% as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 fell 0.8% on Thursday.
  • Japan’s Topix index added 0.1%.
  • South Korea‘s Kospi was little changed.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid less than 0.1%.

Currencies

  • The yen was flat at 107.61 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan was little changed at 7.1350 per dollar after dropping 0.4%.
  • The euro bought $1.0952.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained at 0.67%.
  • Australia’s 10-year yield was little changed at 0.92%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude was at $33.92 a barrel.
  • Gold was flat at $1,726.24 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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