Stocks traded mixed in Asia, after two weeks of losses driven by a backdrop of uncertain trade conditions and signs that some key economies are slowing.
Treasury yields steadied just below 2.90 percent. U.S. futures posted modest gains alongside equities in Japan and Australia, while shares fluctuated in Shanghai and Hong Kong and European futures pointed higher. Treasuries held last week’s gains and the yen was steady after a bout of risk aversion that hammered global equities in recent sessions.
The dollar edged lower after a strong week that took it to the highest in a month. Oil remains below $52 in New York, while the yuan was little changed offshore.
With global growth forecasts for 2019 being questioned amid the US-China trade tussle, investors may get some clues on the policy path from this week’s Federal Reserve meeting and press conference from Chairman Jerome Powell.
That’s the last key event scheduled as global equities round out what’s been the worst year since 2011, on course to drop about 9 percent amid concern surrounding the earnings outlook.
“There’s been a re-evaluation of growth and inflation prospects over 2019 with the trade war now looking extremely negative,” Steve Goldman, fund manager at Kapstream Capital, told Bloomberg TV in Sydney. “We’re going to see a lot of volatility.”
This weekend brought further changes at the Trump administration. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will leave at the end of the year amid a swirl of federal investigations. Next on the list could be Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and the president has also mused about replacing Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, people familiar with the matter said.
Investors will keep monitoring Brexit developments after Theresa May’s team pushed back against reports they are warming to a second referendum on Brexit. David Lidington, her effective deputy, and Chief of Staff Gavin Barwell rejected the idea of another vote after newspapers reported they’d held talks on the issue. The U.K. prime minister will face Parliament on Monday. The pound was little changed in Asian trading.