Asian markets on 'wait and hold mode'

Business | 29 Nov 2019 11:05 am

Stocks in Asia retreated as the month came to an end with declines in Hong Kong weighing on the region.

The yield on 10-year Treasuries ticked higher to 1.77 percent as trading began following the Thanksgiving break.

Shares reversed earlier gains in Tokyo and Sydney, fluctuated in Shanghai and fell most in Hong Kong and Seoul.

South Korean stocks traded sharply lower late  morning. The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) fell by 22.10 points, or 1.04 percent, to 2,096.50 as of 11:20 a.m local time.

U.S. futures declined, while the dollar was steady. American equity and bond markets were shut Thursday for Thanksgiving, while European shares retreated.

The won was little changed after the Bank of Korea kept its policy rate unchanged, as expected.

Investors continue to wait for progress on a US-China trade deal, with the next batch of American tariffs on Chinese goods due to begin December 15.

“Markets are on a sort of ‘wait and hold’ in terms of that phase-one trade deal,” David Riley, chief investment strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV. “If there is a skinny deal, that will allow markets and risk assets to grind higher even if there is no real prospect of a phase two or subsequent detailed negotiation occurring this side of U.S. Presidential elections.”

Elsewhere, oil held gains after OPEC signaled it will stick with existing output cuts at next week’s meeting.

The Chilean peso set a record low for a second day and the central bank said it will directly intervene. 

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell by 0.5 percent as of 11:02 a.m. in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix index fell by  0.1 percent.

The Shanghai Composite fell by 0.4 percent.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index remained about 0.2 percent lower.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index gained by 0.55 percent at 6,868.-Bloomberg/The Standard 


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