Stocks in Asia were set for a mixed start to the week, while the euro headed higher as projections showed that the party of France’s president won a large majority in the country’s parliamentary elections.
Futures on Japanese and Australian equity gauges signaled small gains, while Hong Kong contracts declined. The euro climbed against the dollar amid indications that Emmanuel Macron’s party is poised to win the biggest majority in 15 years. The pound slipped with formal negotiations on the U.K.’s exit from the European Union due to start.
Global equities declined last week with trading volume the highest since mid-March as poor housing data and a drop in consumer sentiment added to signs the American economy’s growth rate may be slower than forecast. That’s keeping pressure on bond yields amid a subdued pace of inflation that’s sowed doubts about the Federal Reserve’s planned trajectory for monetary tightening.
Political wrangling in Washington took another turn over the weekend. U.S. President Donald Trump isn’t under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, a member of the president’s legal team said, despite Trump’s repeated comments on social media that he’s the target of a “witch hunt.” “The president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction,” attorney Jay Sekulow said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
On the agenda for markets this week: MSCI Inc. announces whether it approved Chinese-listed stocks in its global benchmarks. The $6.8 trillion onshore market is the world’s second-largest and accounts for 9 percent of global stock value, but has been rejected for index inclusion three times by MSCI over issues including capital controls and long trading halts. Morgan Stanley says odds of approval are just over 50 percent.
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Here are some of the key upcoming events:
- Chicago Fed President Charles Evans and Fed Bank of New York President William Dudley are both due to speak in New York Monday. They are the first of a slew of Fed appearances scheduled for this week including Stanley Fischer and Jerome Powell.
- Japanese trade data is due at 8:50 a.m. in Tokyo, with exports forecast to surge 16 percent in May.
- Chinese property prices are due Monday morning.
- MSCI’s decision on Chinese equities is expected Tuesday.
Here are the main moves in markets:
- The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.1206 as of 6:50 a.m. in Tokyo.
- The pound fell 0.1 percent to $1.2766.
- Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.1 percent after the underlying gauge posted a 0.1 percent advance last week.
- Futures on the Nikkei 225 gained 0.3 percent in late trading Friday, while S&P/ASX 200 Index contracts rose 0.2 percent. Hang Seng Index futures lost 0.2 percent.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries slid one basis point to 2.15 percent on Friday.
- West Texas Intermediate crude oil slid 0.1 percent. The contract settled at $44.74 a barrel on Friday.
- Gold was flat in early trading at $1,253.89 an ounce.