Asian stocks set for mixed start; US shares rise

Asian stocks looked set for a mixed open Friday as investors weighed hopes for an agreement on a stimulus package from Washington against continued US-China tensions. Shares closed higher on Wall Street and the dollar retreated.

Futures were little changed in Japan, dipped in Australia and pointed higher in Hong Kong. Contracts opened flat on the S&P 500 after the index gained for a fifth day, with Apple Inc leading the charge as it reached a record. US stocks got a lift Thursday afternoon as lawmakers pledged to keep working toward a coronavirus relief package and US President Donald Trump said he could act unilaterally on some measures. Gold extended gains amid speculation interest rates will stay low for longer, while Treasuries edged higher. Oil ticked up.

Stocks

  •     Futures on the S&P 500 Index dipped 0.1% as of 7:16 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge rose 0.6% Thursday.
  •     Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 were little changed.
  •     Hang Seng futures earlier rose 0.2%.
  •     Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.2%.

Currencies

  •     The yen was at 105.53 per dollar.
  •     The offshore yuan traded at 6.9469 per US dollar.

Bonds

  •     The yield on 10-year Treasuries decreased one basis point to 0.54%.

Commodities

  •     West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2% to US$42.02 a barrel.
  •     Gold was at US$2,065.30 an ounce, up 0.1%.

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