Global Stock Rally Pauses; Treasuries Edge Higher: Markets Wrap

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Global Stock Rally Pauses; Treasuries Edge Higher: Markets Wrap

(Bloomberg) — The post-Christmas rally in global equities took a break on Thursday in Asia in the absence of any concrete details on U.S.-China trade negotiations. The yen and Treasuries ticked higher.

Stocks fell in Japan and futures pointed to lower starts in the U.S. and Europe, while Chinese equities fluctuated. The offshore yuan climbed to the strongest since August as the U.S. and China laid the ground for resolving trade issues, though S&P 500 Index contracts declined as some investors expressed disappointment at negotiations that seem likely to continue indefinitely. The dollar was steady and crude pulled back after climbing above $52 a barrel and entering a bull market.

Global stocks have rallied since the start of the year amid optimism tensions are thawing between the U.S. and China on trade and commentary from the Federal Reserve showed policy makers have shifted to a more cautious approach to further interest-rate increases. Still, concern surrounding the partial U.S. government shutdown continues to weigh on sentiment ahead of earnings season. And China inflation data on Thursday showcased slowing growth in the world’s No. 2 economy.

“Volatility is here to stay but you use volatility to your advantage to take some chips off the table when you start to see a bit of a rebound in the market,” Nathan Thooft, head of global asset allocation at Manulife Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV in Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government shutdown is dragging on. President Donald Trump said his party was “very unified” behind his plan to keep the government closed until he gets funding to build a wall along the Mexican border, which is at the center of the dispute. He then walked out of a meeting with Democratic congressional leaders Nancy Pelosi and Charles Schumer, calling it a “total waste of time.”

Here are some events investors may focus on this week:

  • Fed Chairman Powell will speak to the Economic Club of Washington D.C. on Thursday.
  • Britain’s Parliament resumes a debate on the Brexit withdrawal bill, with Prime Minister Theresa May seeking to avoid defeat in a vote set for the week of Jan. 14.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid 0.1 percent as of 4:10 p.m. in Tokyo.
  • Japan’s Topix index fell 0.9 percent
  • S&P 500 futures declined 0.5 percent. The S&P 500 rose 0.4 percent.
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures fell 0.7 percent.

Currencies

  • The yen rose 0.3 percent to 107.86 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan rose 0.3 percent to 6.7924 per dollar.
  • The euro gained 0.1 percent to $1.1551.
  • The pound slipped 0.2 percent to $1.2774.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell two basis point to 2.69 percent.
  • Australia’s 10-year bond yield dropped one basis point to 2.32 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.8 percent to $51.75 a barrel
  • Gold added 0.1 percent to $1,295.41 an ounce.
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