STOCK MARKET TODAY: Stocks are mixed in Asia ahead of updates on jobs and inflation

STOCK MARKET TODAY: Stocks are mixed in Asia ahead of updates on jobs and inflation

TOKYO (AFP) – Asian stocks traded mixed on Monday as investors awaited a slew of US economic data scheduled for release later in the week.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8% in morning trading to 33,159.03. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.6% to 7,118.40 points. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.3% to 2,513.03 points. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng lost 0.6% to 16,736.45, while the Shanghai Composite Index fell less than 0.1% to 3,029.42.

China Evergrande Hong Kong-traded shares rose 7% after a Hong Kong court postponed until January 29 a hearing on its plan to restructure its huge debts. The company faces the possibility of liquidation if creditors reject the restructuring plan.

Among the economic updates scheduled for this week are labor market data, including the US government’s closely watched monthly employment report for November.

“Traders are bracing for a series of actionable US economic data scheduled for release this week, which is expected to be crucial in improving traders’ expectations regarding Federal Reserve policy. Insights from this data may be… Pivotal.”

Inflation data is also expected this week in several countries in Asia, including Japan, Thailand and the Philippines.

Wall Street ended last week with its fifth straight gain, with the S&P 500 hitting its highest level in more than a year, up 0.6%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.8%, while the Nasdaq Composite added 0.6%. Winners outnumbered losers about 6 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The view that the United States The Fed is finally done Raising interest rates to reduce inflation was a plus for the markets. The data appears to show that inflation has declined since last year.

A US government report on Friday showed that construction spending continued to rise in October, beating economists’ expectations for growth.

Treasury yields fell broadly on a feeling that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hike policy has run its course and is likely headed toward a reversal. On Friday, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which affects mortgage rates, rose to 4.25% from 4.21% late Friday. It reached 5.00% in October.

The yield on the two-year Treasury note fell to 4.55% from 4.70% late Thursday. The decline in bond yields helped ease pressure on stocks, especially technology stocks.

Investors entered December on track to close out the year with strong gains. Over the course of the year, the S&P 500 rose 19.7% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 36.7%. Small company stocks have also recently turned higher during the year following the recent market rally. The Russell 2000 is now up 5.8% for the year.

In energy trading, benchmark US crude lost 34 cents to $73.73 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. In general, oil prices have declined for several months. Brent crude, the international standard, fell 44 cents to $78.44 a barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar fell to 146.56 Japanese yen from 146.76 yen. The price of the euro reached $1.0884, and was little changed from $1.0885.

    (Tags for translation) Financial Markets 

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