(Bloomberg) — The dollar climbed and Asian stocks dropped with U.S. and European futures Thursday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell highlighted uncertainty about the economic rebound. Treasuries ticked up.
A gauge of Asian shares fell the most in a week, with losses greatest in Hong Kong, South Korea and Australia. S&P 500 futures slipped about 1%. The U.S. benchmark erased gains on Wednesday to end the session lower after Powell said policy will remain accommodative while cautioning that the pace of economic activity will likely slow. A tumble in tech giants such as Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. weighed on the index. The offshore yuan retreated.
The Treasury yield curve had steepened slightly Wednesday as Powell stopped short of offering new specifics on the Fed’s approach to the monthly bond purchases that have buttressed markets. Some traders may have been expecting signals regarding plans to target longer maturities.
“The lack of any new measures saw risk markets a little underwhelmed,” said Stephen Miller, investment strategist at GSFM. “I suspect that is an indicator of latent impatience with the lack of fiscal support.”
Fed officials have stressed in recent weeks that the U.S. recovery is highly dependent on the nation’s ability to better control the coronavirus, and that further fiscal stimulus is likely needed to support jobs and incomes.
“The recovery has progressed more quickly than generally expected,” Powell said, while cautioning that “the path ahead remains highly uncertain.” It was the Federal Open Market Committee’s final scheduled meeting before the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 3.
The Bank of Japan kept its asset-purchases and bond-yield targets in place. Next up are policy decisions by Bank Indonesia and the Bank of England.
Meanwhile, the White House strongly signaled Wednesday that it is willing to increase its offer in talks with Democrats, and that Senate Republicans should go along in order to seal a stimulus deal in the next week to 10 days.
Elsewhere, oil dropped back below $40 a barrel in New York. Gold declined.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
S&P 500 futures fell 1.1% as of 1:47 p.m. in Tokyo. The gauge fell 0.5% on Wednesday.Japan’s Topix index lost 0.4%.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 1.6%.Shanghai Composite declined 1%.South Korea’s Kospi index dropped 1.3%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index slid 1.1%.Euro Stoxx 50 futures fell 1%.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.3%.The euro bought $1.1757, down 0.5%.The yen slipped 0.1% to 105.09 per dollar.The offshore yuan fell 0.5% to 6.7773 per dollar.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries ticked down to 0.67%.Australia’s 10-year yield slid to 0.85%.
West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.4% to $39.59 a barrel.Gold slid 1% to $1,939.24 an ounce.
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