Asia Stocks Mixed Ahead of Midterms; Dollar Steady: Markets Wrap

Lloyd Doyle
November 8, 2018

Investors watched for developments on trade as China's vice president said Beijing remained ready to discuss a deal with Washington. The dollar fell for a second day.

Tech's underperformance continued a trend seen in the past few weeks, with the S&P 500 Index down less than 6 percent since the end of August, compared with drop of nearly 10 percent for the Nasdaq 100.

Politics loom large for traders as US congressional elections, seen as a referendum on the policies of President Donald Trump, take place Tuesday. Shares in Asia fell following Friday's rally and after White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow downplayed the potential for a quick trade deal between the US and China. US congressional elections, seen as a referendum on the policies of President Donald Trump, loom large on Tuesday. Federal Reserve policy makers are expected to leave the main interest rate unchanged Thursday at their penultimate gathering of 2018.

Britain's FTSE 100 was flat, however, as the pound strengthened on a report Britain and the EU were advancing towards a deal that would give financial services firms in the United Kingdom continued access to European markets once Brexit happens. The pound jumped on news of further progress in Brexit negotiations.

Elsewhere, crude was on track for a sixth day of declines even as sanctions on Iran oil snapped back into place Monday.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index declined 0.1 percent.The euro advanced 0.1 percent to $1.1417.The Japanese yen fell 0.1 percent to 113.28 per dollar.The British pound added 0.3 percent to $1.3079, the strongest in nearly three weeks.The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index was little changed. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell into the red in relatively thin trading.

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Overall, in stocks, the S&P 500 Index went up by 0.3%, the STOXX Europe 600 Index also went up by 0.3% (making it its 6th straight day of gains) and the MSCI Emerging Market Index fell by 0.5%, which is its first drop in a week.

The S&P 500 Index rose 0.6 percent as of 4 NY; the Nasdaq Composite slumped 0.4 percent; the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8 percent.

The MSCI Emerging Market Index declined 0.4 percent, the first retreat in a week.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed. The euro traded at US$1.1388 while the pound gained 0.1 per cent to US$1.2988.

European markets followed a strong start in Asia, with robust company earnings helping the pan-European index touch a two-week high. And the price of gold also slipped by 0.1% to trade at $1,231.52 per ounce.

In the bonds market, the yield on the 10-year Treasury in the U.S. dropped to 3.19%, Germany's 10-year Treasury yields remained nearly the same at 0.42% and the UK's 10-year yield went up to 1.5%.

Japan's Nikkei bucked the trend and slipped 1 percent following two days of big gains.

-With assistance from Cormac Mullen, Christopher Anstey, Eddie van der Walt and Samuel Potter.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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