(Bloomberg) –Stocks in Asia got off to a mixed start to the week as traders digested the latest trade developments and waited for a slew of earnings reports. The pound dropped as Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal hangs in the balance.
Shares in Japan and Hong Kong rose modestly, though trading volume was about 30% down on the average over the last month. Equities were flat in Shanghai and retreated in Sydney. Futures on the S&P 500 Index edged up, signaling American stocks may test a fresh all-time high this week. The dollar traded near the lowest level since July, while Treasury yields edged up.
With industry heavyweights China Mobile Ltd., Amazon.com and McDonald’s Corp. all on the docket with results this week, investors may get the chance to focus more on company fundamentals. Still, trade tensions and Brexit developments have the capacity to unnerve traders. China Vice Premier Liu He said it has made “substantial progress” with the U.S. to lay the foundation for a phase one agreement.
Meantime, the U.K. Prime Minister asked the EU to postpone Brexit until Jan. 31, as he was bound by law to do after Parliament delayed a formal vote on his deal. He will on Monday ask the House of Commons to back his deal with the EU in a new “meaningful vote.”
“It would be significant if they can get a phase one deal signed before Thanksgiving — the probability of that is probably a little bit over 60% right now,” Brett Ewing, chief market strategist at First Franklin Financial Services, told Bloomberg TV. “This is a very important issue, and I think it could remove a lot of uncertainty.”
Here are some key events coming up this week:
- Canada votes in an election.
- Earnings season is in full swing with companies reporting including: Amazon.com, Microsoft, Daimler, Kia Motors, McDonald’s, Caterpillar, UBS and Procter & Gamble.
- Thursday brings monetary policy decisions from the European Central Bank and Bank Indonesia.
- U.S. factory orders for business equipment will provide a look into the strength of capital investment in September. The figures will show to what extent the latest tranche of tariffs on China and others is impacting investment decisions.
These are the main moves in markets:
- Japan’s Topix index added 0.5% as of 1:27 p.m. in Tokyo.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.3%.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.2%. The underlying index lost 0.4% on Friday.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.1%.
- The Shanghai Composite was little changed.
- Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.2%.
- The yen was at 108.53 per dollar, down 0.1%.
- The offshore yuan traded flat at 7.0678 per dollar.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady after falling 0.3% on Friday.
- The euro bought $1.1160, down 0.1%.
- The pound fell 0.6% to $1.2910.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose about one basis point to 1.76%.
- Australia’s 10-year yield added five basis points to 1.15%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 0.3% to $53.64.
- Gold was at $1,490.24 an ounce, little changed.