Asia stocks to rise with Nasdaq futures on profits

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SYDNEY (Oct 24): Stocks in Asia looked primed for gains following an advance in U.S. equities, with investors taking solace from a raft of earnings that provided some optimism against a background of concern for global economic growth.

Shares opened higher in Sydney and equity futures advanced in Japan and Hong Kong. The S&P 500 earlier added 0.3% and closed above the 3,000 level, though weakness in chipmaker stocks dragged the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index down almost 2% on Texas Instruments Inc.’s disappointing forecast. Nasdaq futures rose as revenue at Microsoft Corp. beat forecasts.

Treasury yields rose off the lows of the session, while the dollar traded flat. Oil dipped after its surge. While not a uniformly positive picture, earnings season is dampening some fears that corporate outlooks are souring. 
About 80% of companies on the S&P 500 have topped expectations for profits, though Texas Instruments and Caterpillar both showed how uncertainty stemming from trade tensions and global economic weakness are making customers nervous. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is due to deliver a speech on China on Thursday.

“People were bracing for the worst” for this reporting season, Yana Barton, fund manager at Eaton Vance Management Inc., told Bloomberg TV. “So far we’re coming in a little bit better.”

Elsewhere, oil gave back some of Wednesday’s advance when a U.S. government report showed a surprise drop in crude supplies. 

Turkey’s lira rallied after President Donald Trump said he’s lifting recently imposed sanctions as the country complied with a cease-fire agreement.

Here are some key events coming up this week:

* Earnings season is in full swing with companies reporting including: Amazon.com, Daimler and Kia Motors.

* Thursday brings monetary policy decisions from the European Central Bank and Bank Indonesia.

* U.S. factory orders for business equipment will provide a look into the strength of capital investment in September. The figures will show to what extent the latest tranche of tariffs on China and others is impacting investing decisions.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

* Futures on the S&P 500 Index were flat as of 8:23 a.m. in Tokyo. The underlying gauge increased 0.3% on Wednesday.

* Nasdaq futures gained 0.3%.

* Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.6%.

* Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 0.7%.

* Hang Seng Index futures earlier gained 0.4%.

Currencies

* The yen was at 108.66 per dollar.

* The offshore yuan was at 7.0617 per dollar.

* The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.

* The euro bought $1.1132.

* The British pound was at $1.2915.

Bonds

* The yield on 10-year Treasuries remained at 1.76%.

* Australia’s 10-year yield held at 1.10%.

Commodities

* West Texas Intermediate crude dipped 0.4% to $55.76 a barrel.

* Gold was at $1,492.17 an ounce.