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Asian equities mixed, oil stable ahead of US 4th July holiday

BANGKOK – Stocks were mixed in Asia on Monday, while US futures fell ahead of the July 4 holiday in the US

Benchmarks rose in Tokyo, Shanghai and Sydney but fell in Hong Kong and Seoul. Oil prices remained steady after rising sharply on Friday.

Last week was the fourth losing week of the last five for Wall Street as investors worry about high inflation and the possibility that higher interest rates could trigger a recession.

The most optimistic scenario, a “Goldilocks outcome,” would see a slowdown significant enough to cool inflation to its highest level in four decades but not so severe as to result in a “hard landing,” he said the Mizuho Bank in a comment.

“This is a tall order and is far from guaranteed at this point,” it said, noting that markets will await comment in the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s final meeting, which is expected on Wednesday.

Economic data over the last few weeks has shown that inflation is still hot and the economy is slowing. The latter has raised hopes on Wall Street that the Fed will eventually ease its rate-hike push, which has weighed on equities, particularly pricier sectors like technology.

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Analysts aren’t expecting a big rebound in stocks until there are solid signs that inflation is cooling, and the latest data has yet to show that. Friday brought a report that inflation in countries using the euro had set another mouth-watering record, boosted even higher by a huge increase in energy costs partly fueled by Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Annual inflation in the euro zone 19 countries hit 8.6% in June, better than the 8.1% recorded in May, according to the latest figures released on Friday by the European Union’s statistics agency, Eurostat. Inflation is at its highest level since records began for the euro in 1997.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.6% to 26,106.29 on Monday, while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1% to 3,392.22. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 1.2% to 6,616.30.

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Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.6% to 21,726.39 and Seoul’s Kospi slipped 0.6% to 2,292.07. Stocks fell in Bangkok and fell in India and Taiwan.

On Friday, the S&P 500 was up 1.1%, recovering from early losses to close at 3,825.33. The gain sparked a four-day losing streak for the benchmark index, which still posted its fourth week of losses in the last five.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1% to 31,097.26, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.9% to 11,127.85.

The S&P 500 has completed its worst quarter since the pandemic broke out in early 2020 first half of 2022 was the worst since the first six months of 1970. It was in a bear market since last month, marking an extended drop of 20% or more from its recent high.

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The yield on the 10-year Treasury to help set it mortgage rateswas stable at 2.89% after falling on Friday from 2.97% on Thursday.

The financial markets in the US will remain closed on Monday for Independence Day.

Wall Street remains concerned the risk of a recession when economic growth slows and the Federal Reserve aggressively raises interest rates. The Fed is raising interest rates Deliberately slowing economic growth to cool inflation could potentially go too far and trigger a recession.

Friday’s latest manufacturing economic update showed a slowdown in growth, which was stronger than economists expected in June. This was followed by a worrying report showing that consumer confidence had fallen to its lowest level in 16 months. Also the The US economy shrank at an annual rate of 1.6% in the first quarter, partly due to weak consumer spending.

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High gas prices were a major factor driving up prices and depressing wallets.

On Monday, the benchmark US crude price fell 12 cents to 108.31 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Friday, it rose $2.67 to $108.43 a barrel.

Brent crude, the price basis for international trade, fell 5 cents to $111.55 a barrel.

The US dollar slipped from 135.27 yen to 135.17 Japanese yen. The euro fell from $1.0429 to $1.0426.

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https://www.local10.com/business/2022/07/04/asian-shares-mixed-oil-steady-ahead-of-july-4-holiday-in-us/ Asian equities mixed, oil stable ahead of US 4th July holiday

Sarah Y. Kim

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