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Japan Stocks Pare Gains After BOJ; Aussie Slides: Markets Wrap

Stock MarketsSep 19, 2019 01:03AM ET
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(Bloomberg) -- Japanese stocks pared gains and the yen climbed after the Bank of Japan left its policy settings unchanged while noting rising risks from overseas.

Australia’s dollar slumped after the unemployment rate rose. U.S. stock futures retreated, Hong Kong shares slumped and China’s yuan dropped as investors took stock of the Federal Reserve’s interest-rate cut and the odds for the People’s Bank of China to lower borrowing costs. Equities were little changed in Shanghai.

Failing to follow the Fed and European Central Bank in easing policy interest rates, the BOJ nonetheless flagged that it needs to pay more attention to the risk of lost momentum toward its inflation target. Officials aim to “reexamine” growth and price developments next month.

In a mixed session, though, Japan’s stocks were still higher midday. A late-session rebound in American stocks -- following comments from Chairman Jerome Powell that the Fed is “prepared to be aggressive” if growth faltered -- failed to follow through to S&P 500 futures Thursday.

“There’s no cohesive narrative” at the moment, said Hannah Anderson, a global market strategist at JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) Asset Management. The Fed rate cut and Powell briefing “doesn’t really change the narrative that investors are going to need more than that from some governing body to give a central thesis that they feel comfortable sticking with for a while,” she said.

U.S.-China trade talks still loom, while the geopolitical situation in the Middle East remains unclear after Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for last Saturday’s attack on its oil installations.

Still to come Thursday are monetary policy decisions in Indonesia, Taiwan and the U.K. And BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda briefs on the policy decision.

These are some key events to keep an eye on this week:

  • Bank Indonesia and Bank of England decide policy Thursday.
  • Australia jobs figures are out Thursday.
  • Friday is quadruple witching day for U.S. markets. When the quarterly expiration of futures and options on indexes and stocks occurs on the same day, surging volatility and trading can follow.
Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index slid 0.3% as of 1:04 p.m. in Tokyo.
  • Japan’s Topix index rose 0.8% after gaining as much as 1.2% earlier.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.2%.
  • The Shanghai Composite was little changed.
  • South Korea’s Kospi added 0.2%.
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.4%.
Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat after increasing 0.2% on Wednesday.
  • The yen rose 0.5% to 107.87 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan fell 0.3% to 7.1026 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.1038.
  • The Aussie fell 0.5% to 67.91 U.S. cents.
Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 1.79%.
  • Australia’s 10-year bond yield slid about seven basis points to 1.06%.
Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude added 0.2% to $58.24 a barrel.
  • Gold was at $1,494.31 an ounce.

Japan Stocks Pare Gains After BOJ; Aussie Slides: Markets Wrap
 

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