Dollar Steady, Asia Stocks to Start Week Mixed: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — The dollar was steady in early trading and stocks in Asia looked set for a muted start to the week, as investors monitored a mixed global picture for the coronavirus and looked ahead to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on policy.

The greenback was steady against most G-10 peers as currency markets opened. Equity-index futures signaled a small decline when Japan begins trading, while South Korean assets will be closely watched as that country considered further restrictions to halt an infection flareup there. U.S. shares ended Friday with a fourth week of gains and tech shares set a fresh all-time high.



a screenshot of a cell phone: S&P 500 posts its longest weekly winning streak this year


© Bloomberg
S&P 500 posts its longest weekly winning streak this year

Governments around the world continue to tread a fine line between easing lockdowns to revive growth and controlling any resurgence of virus cases. The pandemic passed two global milestones: 800,000 deaths and 23 million cases. U.S. infections showed signs of stabilization but concern is growing in Europe and parts of Asia.

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The Fed’s annual Economic Policy Symposium — typically held in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — is set for Aug. 27-28 via livestream. Powell takes the virtual stage on Thursday to speak about the Fed’s long-awaited monetary policy framework review, which has focused on a new inflation strategy.

“More clarity will no doubt be sought via this week’s Jackson Hole Symposium,” said Ben Emons, managing director for global macro strategy at Medley Global Advisors. “Meanwhile, we expect the enforcement meeting to proceed smoothly within the next several weeks,” referring to the expected review on U.S.-China trade that was delayed earlier this month.

Meantime, storms Marco and Laura rolled toward the U.S. Gulf Coast, where they’ll come ashore as hurricanes as soon as Monday. The threat prompted evacuations of off-shore energy platforms and setting residents and officials on edge from Texas to Florida.

Here are some key events coming up:

Earnings from companies including, ICBC, PetroChina, HP Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, Best Buy and Dollar General.The U.S. Republican National Convention takes place, with President Donald Trump speaking the final day, Aug. 27.The Bank of Korea sets monetary policy and will hold a briefing on Thursday.Fed Chair Jerome Powell speaks at event on Thursday.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The S&P 500 rose 0.3% on Friday.Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 were little changed.Hang Seng Index future gained 0.3%.Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dipped 0.2%.

Currencies

The yen was at 105.76 per dollar.The euro bought $1.1796.The offshore yuan traded at 6.9190 per dollar.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries dropped two basis points on Friday to 0.63%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 1.1% to $42.34 a barrel on Friday.Gold was at $1,940.48 an ounce.

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