Stocks in Asia mixed as US earnings awaited

A pedestrian looks at an electric quotation board flashing stock prices on the Nikkei key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
A pedestrian looks at an electric quotation board flashing stock prices on the Nikkei key index of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) - Stocks in Asia got off to a muted start as investors awaited a potential new catalyst for further moves - the US earnings season.

Japan's Topix index rose 0.3 per cent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.2 per cent. South Korea's Kospi index rose 0.2 per cent. Futures on Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index rose 0.2 per cent.

Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed. The underlying gauge rose 0.1 per cent on Monday.

With global equities remaining near all-time highs, scrutiny turns to corporate results. PepsiCo, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup and Wells Fargo & Co are reporting this week. Investors will also hear from US policymaker Lael Brainard on Tuesday in a speech focused on normalisation of central bank balance sheets, and Federal Reserve chairman Janet Yellen's semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress is on Wednesday.

"Looking ahead, we think improving corporate earnings are the key ingredient needed to sustain the equity bull market," said Mr Bob Doll, senior portfolio manager and chief equity strategist at Nuveen Asset Management. "And with economic growth prospects looking solid, we think earnings can climb."

The yen was down 0.2 per cent at 114.23 per dollar as of 9.30am in Tokyo, declining for a third day. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat for a third day.

The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 2.38 per cent, while the yield on Australian government notes with a similar maturity fell one basis point to 2.73 per cent.

WTI crude rose 0.4 per cent to US$44.57 a barrel.

Gold was down 0.1 per cent at US$1,213.49 an ounce.