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Asian shares to focus on lower US close as investors await earnings

Stocks on Wall Street finished lower overnight despite strong U.S. economic data releases ahead of Thursday’s Asian trading day.

U.S. stocks closed lower on Wednesday on disappointing earnings releases, with the Dow Jones industrial average recording its largest single-day fall since Sept. 5. The 30-stock index lost 122.30 points, or 0.48 percent, to close at 23,329.46. The S&P 500 shed 0.47 percent to end at 2,557.15 and the Nasdaq declined 0.52 percent to close at 6,563.891.

Yields on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note touched a seven-month high in the session following better-than-expected data releases stateside. New home sales jumped 18.9 percent in September while durable goods orders rose 2.2 percent. The yield on the 10-year note stood at 2.44 percent at the end of Wednesday trade.

“Softer earnings reports, concerns over the [next] Federal Reserve chair, the upcoming European Central Bank meeting and renewed bickering in U.S. political circles raising concerns over the passage of tax reform were all raised as drivers,” ANZ Research said in a morning note.

Back in Asia, futures suggested Japanese equities would be little changed at their open. Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were up 0.13 percent at 21,735 while Osaka futures were off 0.04 percent at 21,700. The Nikkei 225 snapped its 16-day win streak on Wednesday, closing lower by 0.45 percent at 21,707.62.

Down Under, the S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.35 percent in early trade.

Markets in Thailand are closed on Thursday.

Ahead, global markets are focused on the conclusion of the ECB’s meeting on Thursday. Investors awaited details from the central bank regarding tapering in its asset buying program.

“Between the amount of bonds they plan to buy per month to the duration of the program and their forward guidance, there are no shortage of ways for Mario Draghi to placate the doves and the hawks,” Kathy Lien, managing director of FX strategy for BK Asset Management, said in a note.

Corporate earnings releases are also likely to be in the spotlight for markets in the region. In South Korea, SK Hynix and Hyundai Motors are among the notable names on the earnings calendar for Thursday. Also scheduled to report are NTT DoCoMo, China Vanke and OCBC.

In Australia, ANZ announced Thursday its full-year net profit for the year ending Sept. 30, 2017, rose 12 percent to 6.41 billion Australian dollars ($4.94 billion), a touch below the A$6.87 billion forecast in a Thomson Reuter I/B/E/S survey. The bank’s full-year cash profit rose 18 percent to A$6.94 billion ($5.35 billion).

In other corporate news, Japan’s Asahi Group will be offloading soft drink arm LB, which was acquired more than ten years ago, Nikkei Asian Review reported.

Over in Indonesia, discussions between Freeport McMoRan and local authorities over the Grasberg copper and gold mine have proceeded “amicably” even though progress has not been as quick as hoped, Reuters said, quoting the mining company’s CEO.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar continued to struggle after inflation missed expectations on Wednesday. The Aussie dollar traded at $0.7706 at 6:44 a.m. HK/SIN after falling as low as $0.7699 overnight. That compared to levels around the $0.78 handle seen at the beginning of this week.

The Canadian dollar also slid overnight, trading as low as $1.2796 to the dollar compared to levels around the $1.26 handle earlier this week. The loonie last traded at $1.2794.

The greenback, meanwhile, was broadly lower against a basket of currencies. The dollar index stood at 93.711 at 6:55 a.m. HK/SIN, after trading as high as 94.008 in the overnight session. Against the yen, the dollar edged down to trade at 113.60.

Here’s the economic calendar for Thursday (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 8:30 a.m.: Australia third-quarter export and import prices
  • 1:00 p.m.: Singapore September industrial production
  • 4:30 p.m.: Hong Kong September balance of trade

Source: cnbc china
Asian shares to focus on lower US close as investors await earnings

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