Stocks Trade Mixed; Oil Climbs on Iran Tensions: Markets Wrap

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CHINA-STOCKS

Photographer: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP via Getty Images

Stocks in Asia opened mixed, while U.S. futures edged higher, as investors monitor geopolitical risks and plans for the high-stakes meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping. Oil climbed as the U.S. said it was planning sanctions on Iran.

Japanese and Australian shares slipped, and South Korea stocks were little changed. S&P 500 futures rose after the gauge Friday slipped from an all-time high. The yen and the offshore yuan were steady. The yield on 10-year Treasuries was flat at 2.06%. The Turkish lira surged after the opposition candidate won the redo of Istanbul’s mayoral race. The Aussie edged up after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe said there are limits to what monetary easing can achieve.

Greenback fell below key level Friday amid Fed's dovish pivot

Investors are weighing the Middle East situation alongside a dovish shift from major central banks and the ongoing trade tensions between the U.S. and China. Next up comes a speech from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell on Tuesday, then the Trump-Xi tete-a-tete on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Japan at the end of the week.

Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said Friday he called for a 50 basis point reduction in interest rates at the central bank’s June 18-19 meeting. Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said the argument in favor of cutting rates has strengthened recently as cross currents buffet the U.S. economy amid heightened uncertainty.

Meanwhile the U.S. plans to announce more sanctions against Iran, but Trump is also willing to negotiate with Iranian leaders with “no preconditions” to ensure the Islamic Republic never acquires a nuclear weapon. The sanctions would come days after the U.S. president abruptly called off a plan for air strikes.

Martin Lakos, division director at Macquarie Wealth Management, talks about Fed policy and implications for markets.

Source: Bloomberg

Here are some key events coming up:

  • Fed Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York Tuesday. He’ll discuss the challenges facing the U.S. economy.
  • MSCI Inc. announces results of its 2019 Market Classification Review on Tuesday, including whether Kuwait gets upgraded from frontier to emerging-market status.
  • Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan on Friday and Saturday.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.2% as of 9:05 a.m. in Tokyo. The underlying gauge lost fell 0.1% Friday.
  • Japan’s Topix index dropped 0.2%.
  • South Korea’s added 0.2%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.1%.

Currencies

  • The yen was at 107.40 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan rose 0.1% to 6.8581 per dollar.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.1%.
  • The euro bought $1.1383, up 0.1%.
  • The lira rose 0.9% to 5.7654 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries increased one basis point to 2.06%.
  • Australian’s 10-year yield added four basis points to 1.32%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate rose 0.9% to $57.93 a barrel.
  • Gold increased 0.6% to $1,407.29 an ounce.