Asia Stocks Set for Mixed Start; Dollar Dips: Markets Wrap

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Asian stocks were poised for a mixed start, following the first back-to-back gains for global equities since mid-February, as negotiations in Congress continued toward a vote on the U.S. stimulus bill later this week.

S&P 500 futures fluctuated in Asia after the benchmark’s rally of more than 5% fizzled amid adispute in the Senate. Contracts in Japan slipped, while those in Hong Kong and Australia gained. Republican senators raised objections to the unemployment benefits section of the stimulus bill, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sandersthreatened to hold up the legislation unless those objections were dropped. The dollar declined for a second day against its major peers. Treasuries edged lower.

“While exact details are still emerging, the support package should help to assuage the fears about the worst possible economic outcomes for individuals and companies,” said Oliver Blackbourn, a multi-asset portfolio manager at Janus Henderson Investors. “Investors need to remain vigilant about how the growth rate of new cases develops and how governments respond going forward.”

The Senate was heading to a vote Wednesday on the more than $2 trillion aid package of spending and tax breaks. The latest draft will include about $500 billion in loans and assistance for larger companies, as well as states and cities. Equities also gained in Europe, where leaders are inching toward a fiscal package of their own.

The first consecutive daily gains for global equities since Feb. 12 come as cities from Milan to Seattle reel from the deepening pandemic. With the world’s cases now topping 451,000 and more than 20,000 deaths, traders are well aware that the threat to the global economy remains high.

Elsewhere, oil slipped after three days of gains. Gold retreated.

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These are the main moves in markets:


  • S&P 500 futures rose 0.5% as of 7:20 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 Index rose 1.2% on Wednesday.
  • Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 1.9%.
  • Hang Seng Index futures added 0.9%.
  • Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 2.1%.


  • The yen was steady at 111.15 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan was at 7.1255 per dollar after dropping 0.6%.
  • The euro bought $1.0884.


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose two basis points to 0.87% on Wednesday.
  • Australia’s 10-year bond yield fell one basis point to 0.97%.


  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2% to $24.55 a barrel.
  • Gold slipped 0.3% to $1,612.20 an ounce.

— With assistance by Vildana Hajric, Sarah Ponczek, Nancy Moran, and Luke Kawa

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