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Global Markets Edge Higher as U.S. Futures Slip

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06/02/2020 | 02:20am EDT

By Xie Yu

International markets made small gains, while U.S. stock futures declined, as investors weighed signs of economic recovery against risks stemming from U.S.-China tensions, the new coronavirus and social unrest in the U.S.

By early afternoon Tuesday in Hong Kong, the city's Hang Seng Index and stock benchmarks in Japan and South Korea had all risen 0.5% to 1.5%. China's Shanghai Composite added 0.1%, and Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3%.

E-mini S&P 500 futures lost 0.2%.

"The equity market has been pricing in a smooth recovery of the economy, although it might be too optimistic while overlooking some potential risks," said Anthony Chan, chief Asia investment strategist at Union Bancaire Privée.

Among other risks, Mr. Chan cited the possibility of fresh coronavirus outbreaks, bringing new lockdowns, and a fragile geopolitical backdrop. He said the Trump administration could take more-severe measures related to Hong Kong ahead of the U.S. presidential election in November.

In currency markets, the Australian dollar continued to recover from the troughs it hit in mid-March, buying more than 68 U.S. cents for the first time since late January. It stood at 68.05 U.S. cents by early afternoon Hong Kong time.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 0.25%. Gov. Philip Lowe said the country's downturn could be shallower than expected, although the outlook remained highly uncertain. The central bank's board didn't discuss negative interest rates at its meeting.

The U.S. dollar has slid in recent sessions, and riskier currencies such as the Mexican peso have strengthened, on optimism about economic recovery. On Tuesday morning in Hong Kong, the WSJ Dollar Index, which measures the U.S. currency against 16 others, was fractionally stronger at 92.06. It peaked above 97 in March.

U.S. indexes rose Monday as investors embraced signs that global factory activity was on a path toward recovery and largely shrugged off violent protests in U.S. cities.

In bond markets, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note eased to 0.658%, according to Tradeweb, down from 0.662% on Monday.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, gained 1.1% to $38.74 a barrel.

An alliance of oil-producing nations led by Saudi Arabia and Russia is close to a deal that would extend their collective production cuts through Sept. 1.

Write to Xie Yu at Yu.Xie@wsj.com


Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / CANADIAN DOLLAR (AUD/CAD) 0.28% 0.94156 Delayed Quote.3.19%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / JAPANESE YEN (AUD/JPY) 0.34% 74.616 Delayed Quote.-2.67%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR (AUD/NZD) -0.07% 1.0622 Delayed Quote.2.24%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / SWISS FRANC (AUD/CHF) 0.34% 0.65571 Delayed Quote.-3.59%
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (AUD/USD) 0.35% 0.69408 Delayed Quote.-1.50%
BRITISH POUND / AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (GBP/AUD) -0.32% 1.79592 Delayed Quote.-4.59%
DJ INDUSTRIAL 0.36% 25827.36 Delayed Quote.-9.82%
EURO / AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR (EUR/AUD) -0.29% 1.61971 Delayed Quote.1.89%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) 0.03% 1.1243 Delayed Quote.0.35%
HANG SENG 1.03% 25351.9 Real-time Quote.-10.99%
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.26% 42.74 Delayed Quote.-36.24%
NASDAQ 100 0.61% 10341.891881 Delayed Quote.18.42%
NASDAQ COMP. 0.52% 10207.628547 Delayed Quote.13.76%
S&P 500 0.45% 3130.01 Delayed Quote.-3.12%
S&P/ASX 200 0.42% 6057.9 Real-time Quote.-9.75%
S&P/CITIC 300 INDEX 0.02% 3825.23 Delayed Quote.6.12%
S&P/CITIC 50 INDEX 0.02% 3813.55 Delayed Quote.0.34%
THE GLOBAL LTD. 0.97% 209 End-of-day quote.-55.63%
US DOLLAR / RUSSIAN ROUBLE (USD/RUB) 1.27% 71.4823 Delayed Quote.14.06%
WTI 0.05% 40.23 Delayed Quote.-35.64%
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