- Asian scholarships: https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
- COVID-19 cases on the rise in Asia and Australia
- Markets approve US bipartisan infrastructure deal
- Oil hits its highest level since October 2018
- Activity in the foreign exchange markets has been subdued
SYDNEY, June 28 (Reuters) – Asian stocks started the week cautiously on Monday, with Chinese markets holding steady as a spike in coronavirus cases in the region over the weekend hurt investor sentiment as oil was hovering around 2-1 / 2 year highs.
The largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan was slightly lower at 702.57. Australian stocks (.AXJO) slipped 0.2%. South Korea’s benchmark KOSPI (.KS11) barely changed, as did Japan’s Nikkei (.N225).
Investors were worried about a spike in coronavirus infections in Asia, Australia’s most populous city, Sydney, plunging into lockdown after a cluster of cases exploded involving the highly contagious Delta strain.
Indonesia is grappling with a record number of cases as a lockdown in Malaysia is expected to be extended. Thailand also announced new restrictions in Bangkok and other provinces.
Chinese stocks edged up with the CSI300 index (.CSI300) rising 0.2%. Data from the weekend showed that profit growth for Chinese industrial companies slowed again in May, as soaring commodity prices squeezed margins and weighed on factory activity.
Investors will keep a close eye on the official activity of Chinese factories scheduled for Wednesday. The manufacturing reading is expected to slow to 50.7 from 51. The private sector Caixin Manufacturing PMI will follow later in the week.
Global equities hit record highs last week as lower-than-expected US inflation and the announcement of a bipartisan US infrastructure deal boosted risk appetite.
The infrastructure plan is valued at $ 1.2 trillion over eight years, including $ 579 billion in new spending.
“Investors are closely monitoring the progress of President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure deal through Congress. The package could significantly boost demand, thanks to investments in renewable energy and electronic vehicle (EV) infrastructure, ”ANZ analysts wrote in a note.
Oil prices are at their highest level since October 2018 at the start of Asian trading as demand growth outstrips supply and OPEC + will be cautious in bringing more crude back to market from August.
Brent futures rose 12 cents to $ 76.30 a barrel, while US crude rose 13 cents to $ 74.18.
On Friday, the S&P 500 (.SPX) rose 2.7% for the week, its strongest weekly gain since early February after data showed a measure of core inflation rose less than expected in May, easing fears of a sudden decrease in stimulus by the federal government. Reserve.
The Dow (.DJI) climbed 0.7% while the Nasdaq (.IXIC) fell 0.06% after hovering near the previous session’s high.
Later this week, a closely watched US employment report will be released for June, which could indicate strong demand for labor.
Yields on benchmark 10-year US Treasuries rebounded above 1.50% to end a week in which rates recorded their biggest increases since March.
Global monetary and fiscal stimulus in response to the COVID-19 pandemic are strengthening financial assets, despite an uneven pace of recovery across regions.
Boston Federal Reserve Chairman Eric Rosengren on Friday warned that a buildup of financial stability risks from a low interest rate environment could lead to a further slowdown that would halt the labor market recovery and would prevent a return to maximum employment.
In currencies, the US dollar strengthened slightly to 91.846 against a basket of other currencies.
The Japanese yen weakened to 110.65 against the greenback and the euro eased to $ 1.1925.
The appreciation of the dollar revived gold with prices down 0.4% to $ 1,771.9 per ounce.
Montage par Shri Navaratnam
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