Asian stocks set for gains; dollar retreats

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SYDNEY (Aug 30): Asian stocks looked set to track a rise in U.S. equities after a better than expected reading on the U.S. economy and a rally in tech shares buoyed sentiment. The dollar slipped against major peers.

Futures on equity indexes in Japan, Hong Kong, China and Australia all signaled a higher start to Thursday trading after the S&P 500 Index rose a fourth day to close above 2,900 for the first time. Treasuries were little changed while emerging-market equities edged higher. The pound climbed after the European Union revived hopes of a Brexit deal.

Equities are rallying as August draws to a close, with Asia Pacific stocks recouping much of the losses seen earlier this month. Central bank support in China has gone some way to stabilizing the currency and stemming a rout in Shanghai stocks, though worries remain concerning the U.S.-China trade spat and the pace of monetary tightening in the U.S. Next up are Thursday’s reports on personal income and spending for July.

Elsewhere, Argentina’s peso tumbled to a record low after President Mauricio Macri asked the International Monetary Fund to speed up disbursements from its $50 billion credit line to ease the nation’s financial crisis. Crude oil climbed following a bigger-than-expected decline in U.S. crude stockpiles.

Here are some key events scheduled for the remainder of this week:

* China’s official factory PMI are due Friday.

* The Bank of Korea sets policy on Friday. Weak jobs growth has cooled speculation of an interest-rate increase.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

* Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.6 percent in Singapore. 

* Futures on the FTSE China A50 Index added 0.5 percent. 

* Futures on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.6 percent. 

* Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3 percent. 

* The S&P 500 climbed 0.6 percent.

Currencies

* The yen was steady at 111.71 per dollar after slipping 0.4 percent. 

* The offshore yuan was at 6.8202 per dollar. 

* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index slipped 0.2 percent Wednesday.

* The euro bought $1.1708.

* The pound traded at $1.3027 after rising 1.2 percent.

Bonds

* The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 2.88 percent.

Commodities

* West Texas Intermediate crude increased 1.7 percent to $69.70 a barrel, the highest in seven weeks.

* Gold was steady at $1,206.73 an ounce.