Home >Markets >Stock Markets >Stocks in Asia trade mixed; Treasuries hold gains

Stocks in Asia were mixed early Wednesday as reports on Moderna Inc.’s coronavirus vaccine added to concern that a successful way to beat the pandemic remains a long way off. Treasuries held an overnight advance.

Japanese shares fluctuated at the open, while equities in South Korea and Australia dipped. Contracts on the S&P 500 edged up after the U.S. index lost ground in the final hour of trading and closed down. Riskier assets had started the week on the front foot after Moderna had fueled hopes for a coronavirus vaccine, but investors are struggling to maintain the optimism. Crude oil slipped below $32 a barrel in New York, while the dollar edged lower.

“We are being fairly cautious," Shawn Matthews, founder and chief investment officer at Hondius Capital Management LP, said on Bloomberg TV. “If you look at the economy, it feels like it’s the summer of hope right now, where everyone is hoping it’s going to turn around."

Headwinds remain for stocks, not least a deteriorating U.S.-China relationship. In a further sign of tightening scrutiny on capital flows to the Asian nation, Nasdaq is set to unveil new rules for initial public offerings including tougher accounting standards that will make it more difficult for some Chinese companies to list on the exchange.

Walmart and Home Depot both suspended their outlooks for the year, the latest companies to show the difficulties in predicting the road ahead. Earlier, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated during a Senate hearing that the central bank is ready to use all the weapons in its arsenal to help the U.S. economy endure the coronavirus pandemic.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.2% as of 9:01 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge fell 1.1% on Tuesday.
  • Japan’s Topix index was down 0.1%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi retreated 0.2%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.5%.

Currencies

  • The yen was at 107.81 per dollar, down 0.1%.
  • The offshore yuan held at 7.1185 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.0926, little changed.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained at 0.69%.
  • Australia’s 10-year yield fell two basis point to 0.96%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 1% to $31.64 a barrel.
  • Gold was little changed at $1,746.20 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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