SYDNEY, Nov 6 — Asian stocks look set for a mixed start after US equities capped the longest string of weekly gains since 2013 and as traders keep an eye on President Donald Trump’s first trip to the region.
Equity-index futures signaled a stronger open to markets in Australia and Japan, which returns after a holiday on Friday. The S&P 500 Index finished higher for an eighth week as Apple Inc. jumped 2.6 per cent to a record. The CBOE Volatility Index closed at an all-time low. The 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 2.33 per cent, even after a jobs report Friday that did little to alter expectations for a US interest-rate hike next month.
Investors will also be assessing the fallout from the anti-corruption crackdown in Saudi Arabia, which has ensnared top officials and billionaires, including Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, known for his investments in companies such as Citigroup Inc and Apple.
Trump starts his day in Tokyo, then heads to Beijing, where he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. On the agenda: the US president will ask China to do more to stop North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, as well as discuss trade issues such as forced technology transfer and intellectual property theft. Read more on Trump’s trip to Asia here.
News on central bankers will also be closely watched. Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley is close to announcing his retirement, according to CNBC. His early departure would mean the top three positions at the Fed changing over within a relatively short period. Trump announced last week that Fed Governor Jerome Powell will be nominated to replace Janet Yellen when her term expires in February. Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer retired in mid-October.
US payrolls data provided a mixed picture of the strength of the labor market, though distortions from the hurricanes in August made it difficult to draw firm conclusions. Based on fed fund futures, the odds for a rate hike in December were little changed.
The S&P 500 Index rose 0.3 per cent on Friday. Contracts on the Nikkei 225 Stock Average were up 0.2 per cent in Singapore. S&P/ASX 200 Index futures added 0.3 per cent. The VIX dropped 8 per cent to 9.14 on Friday.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index gained 0.3 per cent on Friday to erase a loss for the week. The yen was little changed at 114.13 per dollar as of 7:29 am Tokyo time. The euro was steady at US$1.1612 (RM4.92).
The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 2.33 per cent on Friday, capping a weekly drop of more than seven basis points. Australian 10-year yields were steady at 2.57 per cent.
West Texas Intermediate crude settled at US$55.64 a barrel on Friday, reaching the highest since mid-2015. Gold futures fell were little changed at US$1,270.02 an ounce. — Bloomberg