(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks were mixed Thursday as Chinese technology shares pared a climb following a fresh regulatory assault from Beijing. Traders were also cautious as they await U.S. jobs data to gauge the stimulus outlook.
Chinese tech shares listed in Hong Kong came off their highs after criticism of ride-hailing firms highlighted risks from the nation’s ongoing crackdown on private industries. China’s overall market was steady, with traders assessing a central bank step to cushion the economy by helping smaller firms. Commodity-reliant Australia slid on weakness in materials like iron ore.
U.S. and European equity futures fluctuated. Overnight, the Nasdaq 100 edged up to a record and the S&P 500 was little changed. The defensive flavor to trading came amid data suggesting a slower U.S. labor market recovery.
Ten-year U.S. Treasury yields hovered around 1.30%. U.S. payrolls data due Friday will offer clues on the economy and a possible timeline for a reduction in the Fed’s $120 billion of monthly bond purchases. The dollar held a drop.
Investors are trying to assess when the delta-variant virus outbreak might peak as well as the implications of reduced central bank policy support in the months ahead. Global stocks are near record levels and gauges of implied financial market volatility are declining, suggesting many remain optimistic that the reopening from the health crisis will weather challenges.
“The market is fading Covid more as a risk in terms of really hampering economic activity,” Tracie McMillion, head of global asset allocation strategy at Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said on Bloomberg Television. “We think the Fed is going to stick with their word and they will start tapering later this year. But we don’t think they are going to be in any hurry to raise interest rates.”
One of the key questions is the likely outlook for the Treasury market. Famed investor Bill Gross said 10-year yields “have nowhere to go but up” and are set to reach 2% over the next year. The yield has scope to hit 1.90% in coming months, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. technical strategist Jason Hunter.
The latest ADP Research Institute data showed U.S. companies added fewer jobs than expected in August. Manufacturing expanded at a stronger-than-estimated pace but faced supply snarls and labor constraints.
Meanwhile, Google parent Alphabet Inc. edged down in extended trading on the risk of a second antitrust lawsuit. Oil declined after OPEC stuck with a plan to boost crude production.
Here are some key events to watch this week:
U.S. factory orders, durable goods, trade balance, initial jobless claims ThursdayU.S. jobs report Friday
For more market analysis, read our MLIV blog.
Some of the main moves in markets:
S&P 500 futures were steady as of 6:50 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 was little changedNasdaq 100 futures were flat. The Nasdaq 100 rose 0.2%Japan’s Topix index was steadyAustralia’s S&P/ASX 200 retreated 0.7%South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.9%Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was flatChina’s Shanghai Composite rose 0.5%Euro Stoxx 50 futures fell 0.1%
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steadyThe euro was at $1.1840The offshore yuan was at 6.4553 per dollarThe Japanese yen was at 109.98 per dollar
The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose about one basis point to 1.30%Australia’s 10-year yield fell three basis points to 1.21%
West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.3% to $68.36 a barrelGold was at $1,813.64 an ounce, down 0.1%
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