Asian stocks to track US higher; oil slides

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(Oct 13): Asian stocks are poised for a firmer open Tuesday after a surge in technology stocks led U.S. gains. The Chinese yuan extended its decline following steps to curtail its rally.

Futures indicated more modest gains in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong than on Wall Street where technology leaders including Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc. and Twitter Inc. fueled the rally. The S&P 500 extended gains into a fourth day and the Nasdaq 100 posted its biggest advance since April after surging as much as 4.1%. The yen advanced as the dollar put in a mixed performance against its Group-of-10 peers. The Treasury market was closed for a U.S. holiday.

Elsewhere, oil slumped with workers in the U.S. Gulf heading back following Hurricane Delta’s landfall and Libya taking a major step toward reopening its biggest field. The Aussie slid amid reports that China has suspended purchases of Australian coal.

Investors have once again turned back to the companies flush with cash that can thrive if the economic recovery slows down. Prospects for a quick end to the stalemate over a new stimulus faded Monday with members of the House being told not to expect any action this week and many Senate Republicans rejecting the White House proposal for a deal.

In the U.S., the earnings season is getting underway, while Amazon is gearing for its Prime Day bonanza, and Apple for its event where it’s expected to unveil 5G as one of its most significant additions to this year’s iPhones.

“Investors are a bit optimistic that this week will show that U.S. shoppers will continue to spend despite the shortfalls of stimulus and that the iPhone 12 launch will trigger strong demand,” Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at OANDA, said in a note. “Earnings season will be a mixed bag but should show the economy is heading in the right direction and performing fairly well despite the lack of support from Congress.”

The hearings for the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett began Monday in the Senate Judiciary Committee as Republicans try to cement a conservative majority on the court before the Nov. 3 election.

Here are some key events coming up

  • JPMorgan, Citigroup and BlackRock report earnings on Tuesday; results from Wells Fargo, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs are due Wednesday; Morgan Stanley’s earnings are scheduled for Thursday.
  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson set a deadline of Thursday to thrash out the outline of a European Union trade deal.
  • European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde leads off the virtual annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group. Through Oct. 18.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • The S&P 500 climbed 1.6%.
  • Nikkei 225 futures rose 0.5%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures added 0.8%.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index futures rose 0.1% earlier.

Currencies

  • The yen rose 0.3% to 105.33 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan slid 0.8% to 6.7429 per dollar.
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.
  • The euro fell 0.1% to US$1.1814.
  • The British pound climbed 0.2% to US$1.3066.
  • The Aussie declined 0.4% to 72.10 U.S. cents.

Bonds

  • Germany’s 10-year yield fell two basis points to -0.55%.
  • Britain’s 10-year yield declined one basis point to 0.271%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude declined 2.7% to US$39.52 a barrel.
  • Gold weakened 0.4% to US$1,922.47 an ounce.