Asia Stocks Face Muted Start as Global Rally Ebbs: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks looked poised for a cautious start Thursday after U.S. shares slipped on disappointing economic data. The dollar retreated.

Futures pointed lower in Japan and slightly higher in Hong Kong. The S&P 500 Index pulled back from an all-time high, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell below 30,000. Volume dwindled at the end of the U.S. session as traders headed out for the Thursday holiday that will keep markets closed. Treasuries were little changed, erasing earlier gains. A deluge of data brought the first back-to-back rise in weekly U.S. jobless claims since July, an uptick in durable goods orders and a widening trade deficit. Oil rose.

chart, histogram: Strong gains for world equities are ebbing after November surge

© Bloomberg
Strong gains for world equities are ebbing after November surge

Minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting did little to alter views. The central bank discussed at their Nov. 4-5 meeting providing more guidance on their bond-buying strategy “fairly soon,” though they didn’t see a need for immediate adjustments. An MSCI gauge of global shares has stalled after gaining 13% in November — still set for the best month since 1988 — on progress toward a coronavirus vaccine.


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“The market is caught between two powerful impulses — optimism for the post-pandemic world and fear because present reality is that the pandemic is exploding throughout the country,” said Jeff Klingelhofer, co-head of investments and portfolio manager at Thornburg Investment Management. “Markets could be choppy, but downside is likely limited by the vaccine.”

Here are some key events coming up:

Thursday sees a policy decision and briefing from the Bank of Korea.U.S. celebrates the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. The stock market closes at 1 p.m. on Friday.The week ends with Black Friday, the traditional start of the U.S. holiday shopping season.

Here are the main moves in markets:


The S&P 500 Index slid 0.2%.Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.2%.Hang Seng futures rose 0.2%.Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index were little changed.


The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.2%.The euro gained 0.2% to $1.1916.The offshore yuan strengthened 0.2% to 6.5629 per dollar.The yen was little changed at 104.46 per dollar.


The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 0.88%.


West Texas Intermediate crude gained 2% to $45.81 a barrel.Gold slipped 0.1% to $1,805.16 an ounce.

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