Stocks in Asia were primed for a mixed open on Wednesday as investors assess the coronavirus’s effect on companies’ earnings. U.S. shares earlier slipped, while Treasuries advanced.
A warning from Apple Inc. that spurred losses across Asia on Tuesday followed through to Europe and the U.S., with the S&P 500 Index falling from a record high. Australian shares opened flat. Demand disruptions due to the coronavirus continue to concern investors, though signs of recent policy support in Asia have helped ease worries. The offshore yuan remained below 7 per dollar, having slid back below overnight. The euro retained its weakness in the wake of a plunge in German investor confidence.
In the latest news on the epidemic, China’s Hubei province reported 132 new coronavirus fatalities for Feb. 18, bringing the death toll on the mainland to 2,000.
“The economic damage caused by the coronavirus could be significant in isolated areas but it should be relatively temporary and hopefully well contained,” said Bob Doll, a fund manager and strategist at Nuveen Asset Management. “We see no signs that the 10+ year economic expansion or equity bull market are likely to end, although we think valuations look stretched, which presents near-term risks.”
Elsewhere, oil stalled after American sanctions on Russia’s largest oil producer helped erase losses driven by concerns the coronavirus will cut demand.
Here are some key events coming up:
- Earnings season rolls on, with results from Deere & Co. set for Friday.
- Minutes of the most recent Federal Reserve meeting are published on Wednesday.
- Indonesia is expected to cut interest rates on Thursday, following emerging-market peers that have already moved.
- Group of 20 finance ministers and central bank chiefs are scheduled to meet Feb. 22-23 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and are expected to discuss efforts to support growth amid the coronavirus threat.
These are the main moves in markets:
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index added 0.1% as of 8:12 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge declined 0.3% on Tuesday.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was flat.
- Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 were little changed.
- Hang Seng Index futures earlier dipped 0.3%.
- The yen was little changed at 109.88 per dollar.
- The offshore yuan slipped was at 7.0062 per dollar.
- The euro bought $1.0795.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined three basis points to 1.56%.
- Australia’s 10-year yield added one basis point to 1.04%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude held at $52.05 a barrel.
- Gold was at $1,601.36 an ounce after rising 1.3% on Tuesday.
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