Asia stocks see modest gain; yen slips before BOJ: Markets wrap

The S&P 500 Index fell for the second time in three sessions after reaching a record on July 26, 2019.
The S&P 500 Index fell for the second time in three sessions after reaching a record on July 26, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) - Asian stocks edged higher Tuesday (July 30) as investors awaited news from the resumption of US-China trade talks. The yen ticked lower ahead of a rate decision from the Bank of Japan.

Shares saw modest gains in Japan, South Korea and Australia, which could see a record close if the advance holds. Hong Kong futures were flat amid escalating protests in the city, with China warning that unrest had gone "far beyond" peaceful protest.

Earlier, the S&P 500 Index fell for the second time in three sessions after reaching a record Friday as Amazon Inc, Facebook Inc, Alphabet Inc and Netflix Inc all slid. Treasury yields were little changed and the dollar held near its highest in almost two months.

Investors are likely to opt for the sidelines as they await developments on trade with Chinese and American negotiators gathering for two days of talks Tuesday, three months after negotiations broke down.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell's post-meeting press conference Wednesday will provide an chance to gauge the trajectory of US rates after the central bank is anticipated to ease policy.

In Asia, the Bank of Japan meets Tuesday and is widely expected to sit tight as it assesses the effect of the Fed's decision.

Meanwhile, as corporate reporting seasons roll on in the US, Japan and Australia, traders will be looking for any impact from the protracted trade dispute.

Japan's factory output fell more than expected in June as the trade tensions and a slowdown in the global economy dragged exports lower for a seventh straight month.

Elsewhere, the pound steadied after sliding to its lowest in more than two years as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson stepped up preparations for a no-deal Brexit.

Oil extended gains on speculation that demand will get a bump from the potential U.S. Federal Reserve rate cut.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks S&P 500 futures rose 0.1 per cent. The S&P 500 Index fell 0.2 per cent Monday.

Japan's Topix Index rose 0.5 per cent.

Korea's Kospi Index gained 0.4 per cent.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.4 per cent.

CURRENCIES:

The yen fell 0.1 per cent to 108.93 per dollar.

The offshore yuan was little changed at 6.8942 per dollar.

Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.

The euro was steady at $1.1141.

The British pound was at $1.2211 after dropping 1.3 per cent, its biggest slide in more than eight months.

BONDS:

The yield on 10-year Treasuries held around 2.06 per cent.

Australian 10-year yields were at 1.20 per cent.

Commodities West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.6 per cent to $57.20 a barrel.

Gold fell 0.2 per cent to $1,424 an ounce.