(Bloomberg) — The dollar was steady in early trading and Asian stocks began the week with a muted start, amid diverging global virus trends and as investors await a policy speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.
The greenback was flat against most G-10 peers. Equities were little changed in Japan and Australia. South Korean shares fluctuated as the country considers further curbs to halt an infection flareup. S&P 500 contracts rose modestly after U.S. shares ended Friday with a fourth week of gains. Gold began the week on the back foot. New Zealand bonds rose after the central bank fell short of its quantitative easing buying target.
Governments continue to tread a fine line between easing lockdowns to revive growth and controlling any resurgence of virus cases. The pandemic passed two 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.
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,” he said, referring to the expected U.S.-China trade pact review 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 set 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:
S&P 500 futures advanced 0.2% as of 9:25 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge rose 0.3% on Friday.Japan’s Topix index was little changed.South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.1%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index dipped 0.2%.
The yen was at 105.88 per dollar, down 0.1%.The euro bought $1.1797, little changed.The offshore yuan traded at 6.9152 per dollar, up 0.1%.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained at 0.63%.Australia’s 10-year yield was steady at about 0.88%.
West Texas Intermediate crude was flat at $42.34 a barrel.Gold fell 0.3% to $1,934.93 an ounce.
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