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Author: Tan KW   |   Latest post: Sun, 16 Feb 2020, 8:57 PM

 

Asia stocks push higher, dollar, treasuries steady

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SYDNEY: Most Asian stocks traded higher Friday despite a lackluster session for U.S. shares amid concerns over a delayed Sino-American trade deal. Treasuries steadied and the dollar held gains.
 
Equities in Japan and China outperformed, with modest gains seen in Hong Kong. Earlier, the S&P 500 spent most of the session fluctuating between gains and losses in thin trading, before edging lower at the close. 
 
News that a meeting to end the trade war with China won’t happen this month had weighed on sentiment. 
 
The pound was little changed as Prime Minister Theresa May won the endorsement of British politicians to seek to delay Brexit day. 
 
The yen was steady as the Bank of Japan cut its economic outlook while maintaining its policy stance.
 
There are signs of life returning to the rally in equity markets that are struggling to push higher in the face of a faltering global expansion. As investors assess whether earnings growth can withstand a possible economic downturn, data this week suggested China’s slowdown deepened in the first two months of the year, adding to reasons for caution following this quarter’s rebound in Asian shares.
 
The Bank of Japan attributed its cut to the growth outlook largely due to overseas developments.Next up comes a press conference from Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, where traders will look for more details. 
 
In the U.S., equity markets could experience higher levels of volatility on Friday with “quadruple witching,” where the expiration on stock-index futures, stock-index options, individual stock options and individual stock futures all occur.
 
Elsewhere, crude steadied above $58 a barrel ahead of a weekend meeting where the world’s top exporters will discuss whether to extend supply cuts.
 
 - Bloomberg 
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