(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks rose while commodities fell and the dollar was bought on its haven appeal as investors tried to weigh the latest affirmation of China’s Covid-Zero stance against speculation curbs may be eased.
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Equities in Hong Kong advanced, quickly reversing initial declines, while benchmark gauges in Japan, South Korea and Australia also climbed. Mainland indexes fluctuated.
US and European futures trimmed losses. Oil and gold remained down, but above their lows for the session.
The Australian and New Zealand dollars saw the largest drops among Group-of-10 currencies given their sensitivity to the outlook for Chinese economic growth. The offshore yuan was weaker.
Confidence was also damped by Apple Inc. projecting lower shipments of its newest iPhones than previously expected amid the impact of China lockdowns on operations at a supplier’s factory.
Markets continue to be whiplashed as traders veer between hope of China reopening from Covid-19 and fear that harsh curbs will persist. Chinese officials on Saturday vowed to remain “unswervingly” strict in Beijing’s approach to stamping out the coronavirus. The nation’s stocks had rallied aggressively on Friday on bets for an easing of virus curbs.
The debate over China’s outlook comes as investors contend with headwinds from Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes. US data Friday — showing strong hiring and wage increases along with higher unemployment — offered a mixed picture for Fed officials debating how long to extend their campaign to curb elevated inflation.
Fed fund futures are leaning toward pricing a 50-basis-point hike in December, with the peak around 5.1% next year.
Wall Street’s fear gauge is well below the panic levels seen during the pandemic or the 2008 crisis, but volatility is very much a feature of 2022.
The advance in the dollar Monday follows its biggest drop since March 2020 on Friday in Bloomberg’s gauge of the currency. Treasuries were little changed in Asia after the two-year yield, which are more sensitive to imminent policy moves, reversed course and came down on Friday.
“Over the next three to four months, dollar will continue to keep moving higher,” Mahjabeen Zaman, head of FX research at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., said on Bloomberg Television. “That’s really consistent with the recent FOMC Fed meeting we had where they said they’re going to slow the pace but push on peak rates.”
Markets will watch the latest US inflation reading on Thursday after the core consumer price index rose more than forecast to a 40-year high in September. Even if prices begin to moderate, the CPI is far above the Fed’s comfort zone.
Key events this week:
China trade, Monday
Fed officials Susan Collins, Loretta Mester and Tom Barkin speak at events, Monday
Euro zone retail sales, Tuesday
US midterm elections, Tuesday
EIA oil inventory report, Wednesday
China aggregate financing, PPI, CPI, money supply, new yuan loans, Wednesday
US wholesale inventories, MBA mortgage applications, Wednesday
Fed officials John Williams, Tom Barkin speak at events, Wednesday
US CPI, US initial jobless claims, Thursday
Fed officials Lorie Logan, Esther George, Loretta Mester speak at events, Thursday
US University of Michigan consumer sentiment, Friday
Some of the main moves in markets:
S&P 500 futures fell 0.4% as of 10:51 a.m. Tokyo time. The S&P 500 rise 1.4% on Friday
Nasdaq 100 futures fell 0.5%. The Nasdaq 100 rose 1.6%
The Topix Index rose 1.2%
The S&P ASX Index rose 0.5%
The Hang Seng Index rose 2%
The Shanghai Composite Index was little changed
Euro Stoxx 50 futures fell 0.2%
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.3%
The euro fell 0.2% to $0.9935
The Japanese yen fell 0.3% to 147.08 per dollar
The offshore yuan fell 0.5% to 7.2207 per dollar
The Australian dollar fell 0.6% to $0.6429
Bitcoin fell 0.8% to $20,949.55
Ether fell 1.4% to $1,581.76
West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.2% to $91.52 a barrel
Spot gold fell 0.5% to $1,673.49 an ounce
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