U.S. Equity Futures Dip, Asia Stocks Set to Climb: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks looked set to climb Monday and U.S. equity futures dipped as traders digested a record close on Wall Street as well as a $20 billion wave of block trades that ratted investors.

Australian shares opened in the green, while futures pointed up in Japan. U.S. contracts fell after the S&P 500 notched a record Friday. The U.S. open later is now much anticipated, after revelations that Archegos Capital Management LLC — the family office of Bill Hwang — was behind the block trades, dumping shares of Chinese tech giants and U.S. media conglomerates amid margin calls.

Traders will also be monitoring China’s daily yuan fixing, after a bout of sudden weakness in the currency. A dollar gauge ticked higher. Ten-year U.S. Treasury yields climbed at the end of last week.

Oil declined toward $60 a barrel as traders weighed the impact of renewed lockdowns and prepared for an OPEC+ production-setting meeting later in the week. In Egypt, the Suez Canal remains blocked by a massive container ship despite frantic efforts to free it.

“Shares remain at risk of further volatility from rising bond yields,” Diana Mousina, senior economist at AMP Capital Investors Ltd., wrote in a note. “But looking through the inevitable short-term noise, the combination of improving global growth helped by more stimulus, vaccines, negative real yields and still low interest rates augurs well for growth assets generally in 2021.”

The strength of the recovery, aided by the vaccine rollout, and inflation risks are front of mind for investors. Later this week, U.S. President Joe Biden plans to unveil a further stimulus program with a tilt toward infrastructure. U.S.-China ties are also in focus, after a report that Washington isn’t ready to lift tariffs on Chinese imports in the near future, but may be open to trade talks.

Some key events to watch this week:

China manufacturing PMI due Tuesday.President Biden is expected to unveil his infrastructure program Wednesday.EIA crude inventory report Wednesday.OPEC+ meets to discuss production levels for May on Thursday.China Caixin PMI due Thursday.U.S. employment report for March on Friday.Good Friday starts Easter weekend in countries including the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Australia and Canada.

These are some of the main moves in financial markets:

Stocks

S&P 500 futures slipped 0.3% as of 8:38 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 Index climbed 1.7% Friday.Nikkei 225 futures rose 1.2% earlier.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.3%.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index futures fell 0.1% earlier.

Currencies

The yen was at 109.78 per dollar, down 0.1%.The offshore yuan was at 6.5421 per dollar.The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged up 0.1%.The euro traded at $1.1790.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries added four basis points to 1.68% Friday.Australia’s 10-year bond yield climbed about five basis points to 1.71%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.4% to $60.73 a barrel.Gold was at $1,731 an ounce.

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