(Bloomberg) — U.S. stock futures edged lower on Friday, European shares were steady and Asia equities rose at the end of a week when sentiment was bolstered by a more dovish tone from the Federal Reserve and hopes for a breakthrough on trade. The dollar slipped and Treasuries advanced.
Contracts on the S&P and Nasdaq indexes pointed to a slightly softer open in New York, while the Stoxx Europe 600 Index battled to hold on to an early gain. In Asia, shares rose in Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong. The greenback was set for a fourth week of losses after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell underscored the message of patience with further interest-rate hikes, while saying the central bank will keep shrinking its balance sheet. European debt tracked Treasuries higher. The pound briefly jumped on reports that Brexit may be delayed.
Equities are set for big gains this week amid signs of progress between the world’s two biggest economies on trade and dovish commentary from the Fed. Still, worries remain about economic growth and earnings prospects, while there’s also uncertainty as the U.S. partial government shutdown threatens to extend into a fourth week.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He is set to visit Washington on Jan. 30 and 31 for further trade talks. China’s yuan, which slumped last year as trade tensions worsened, is heading for its best week since 2005 — back when the country dropped a fixed peg to the dollar.
Elsewhere, oil in New York traded around $53 a barrel after surging this week. Emerging-market currencies and shares extended recent gains.
These are the main moves in markets:
Futures on the S&P 500 Index decreased 0.1 percent as of 6:14 a.m. New York time, the first retreat in more than a week.The Stoxx Europe 600 Index increased 0.1 percent to the highest in more than four weeks.The MSCI All-Country World Index gained 0.1 percent, hitting the highest in more than four weeks with its sixth consecutive advance.The MSCI Emerging Market Index advanced 0.4 percent to the highest in more than five weeks.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index sank 0.3 percent to the lowest in more than 15 weeks.The euro increased 0.2 percent to $1.1523.The Japanese yen climbed 0.1 percent to 108.29 per dollar.The British pound advanced 0.3 percent to $1.278.The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index gained 0.2 percent to the highest in almost seven months.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell three basis points to 2.71 percent, the biggest fall in more than a week.Germany’s 10-year yield dipped two basis points to 0.24 percent.Britain’s 10-year yield decreased one basis point to 1.261 percent.The spread of Italy’s 10-year bonds over Germany’s fell four basis points to 2.5886 percentage points to the narrowest in more than a week.
The Bloomberg Commodity Index gained 0.6 percent to the highest in more than three weeks.West Texas Intermediate crude advanced 0.7 percent to $52.94 a barrel, hitting the highest in more than five weeks with its 10th consecutive advance.LME copper increased 0.5 percent to $5,958.50 per metric ton, the highest in more than a week.Gold climbed 0.5 percent to $1,292.49 an ounce.
–With assistance from Adam Haigh and Tian Chen.
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