Asian shares inch up as cautious investors await U.S. data, earnings
Asian shares inch up as cautious investors await U.S. data, earnings. Equity indicators nudged higher on Monday as investors awaited U.S. retail sales data and corporate earnings to gauge the health of the world’s biggest economy, with markets remaining focused on a likely U.S. rate cut this month.
- MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.17%, with losses in Chinese shares capping gains elsewhere in the region.
- China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was 0.4% lower.
- South Korea’s KOSPI, which spent the morning flickering between small gains and losses, was last up 0.24%.
- Shares in Taiwan were flat, while the Australian market was up less than 0.1%.
- Japan’s Nikkei stock index dipped 0.74%.
Ahead of the release of U.S. retail sales figures, signs of an improving economic situation in the United States have led to a steepening of the U.S. yield curve, led by higher longer-dated yields.
- The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes turned down slightly to 2.0852% compared with its U.S. close of 2.092% on Monday.
- The two-year yield, closely watched as a gauge of traders’ expectations for Fed fund rates, extended its falls to 1.829% compared with a U.S. close of 1.833%.
- The yen dipped 0.1% to 107.98 per dollar.
- The offshore yuan held at 6.8735 per dollar.
- The euro bought $1.1260, little changed.
- Oil prices found some support after earlier easing on signs that the impact of a tropical storm on U.S. Gulf Coast production would be short-lived.
- U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, added 0.07% to $59.62 a barrel and Brent crude, the global benchmark, gained 0.23% to $66.63 per barrel.
- Trade in gold echoed the cautious tone of equity markets ahead of U.S. data. The precious metal was last down 0.02% on the spot market at $1,413.40 per ounce.