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Indian Morning Briefing: Asian Markets Mixed at Start of the Week

08/01/2021 | 11:16pm EST
DJIA         34935.47  -149.06  -0.42% 
Nasdaq       14672.68  -105.59  -0.71% 
S&P 500       4395.26   -23.89  -0.54% 
FTSE 100      7032.30   -46.12  -0.65% 
Nikkei Stock 27730.33   446.74   1.64% 
Hang Seng    25745.82  -215.21  -0.83% 
Kospi         3201.99    -0.33  -0.01% 
SGX Nifty*   15884.00   110      0.70% 
*August contract 
USD/JPY 109.65-66  -0.03% 
Range   109.78   109.60 
EUR/USD 1.1867-70  0.00% 
Range   1.1873   1.1860 
CBOT Wheat Sept $7.036 per bushel 
Spot Gold     $1,810.25  -0.2% 
Nymex Crude (NY) $73.85  $0.23 

U.S. stocks hung on to their gains for July, despite drifting lower in a quiet final trading session of the month.

A monthslong rally in U.S. stocks has slowed down in recent weeks on worries about the outlook for the economy, which some investors worry may stumble as coronavirus case counts rise again. Lingering concerns over China's clampdown on its internet and technology businesses, as well as lofty expectations for corporate earnings, also weighed on sentiment this week. Amazon.com's disappointing sales report late Thursday and weaker outlook rattled Wall Street further, investors said.

Nevertheless, the S&P 500 managed to close out July with another month of gains, thanks in part to rallying shares of utilities and real-estate companies. The bondlike stocks tend to pay hefty dividends to investors, making them look relatively attractive when markets are volatile.

The S&P 500 fell 23.89 points, or 0.5%, to 4395.26 Friday and rose 2.3% in July-marking its sixth consecutive month of gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 149.06 points, or 0.4%, to 34935.47 and posted a 1.3% gain for the month. The Nasdaq Composite lost 105.59 points, or 0.7%, to 14672.68 and added 1.2% for the month.


Japanese stocks were higher, led by gains in electronics stocks, as the yen weakened despite concerns about tightened Covid-19 containment measures. USD/JPY was at 109.64, up from 109.55 as of Friday's Tokyo stock market close. Investors were focusing on earnings with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group due to report their results later in the day. The Nikkei Stock Average was up 1.2% at 27613.78.

South Korea's benchmark Kospi was up 0.3% at 3211.35 in early trade, led by tech, auto and retail stocks. South Korea's easing but still robust export growth was supporting investor sentiment. The country's outbound shipments rose 29.6% from a year earlier to a monthly record of $55.44 billion in July, according to trade data released Sunday. Index heavyweight Samsung Electronics added 0.9%, as memory-chip maker SK Hynix rose 1.3%.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index declined 0.4% to 25853.99 after opening higher, weighed by consumer and oil stocks. Consumer stocks were among the worst performers. Among oil companies, PetroChina was off 0.6% and Sinopec declined 0.3%. Hong Kong's recent 2Q GDP data release appeared to indicate that economic recovery was likely weighed by ongoing containment measures, in particular border controls, OCBC said. However, a quicker-than-expected decline in the city's jobless rate, coupled with rising vaccination rates, could provide some support moving forward, it added.

Chinese stocks were mixed in early trade, as signs of a Covid-19 resurgence in some areas of the country weigh on investor sentiment, IG said. Notable losers included Kweichow Moutai, which has fallen 2.2% after reporting a 9.1% rise in 1H net profit on Saturday. The Shanghai Composite Index was 0.5% lower, the Shenzhen Composite Index was flat, while the ChiNext Price Index gained 0.4%.


Asian currencies were mixed against USD amid concerns over Covid-19 and hopes for policy support from governments in the region. As Covid-19 risks persist, the divergence in countries' economic recoveries is reflected in Asia's latest PMI data, IG said. China's recent PMI numbers were largely in line with pre-Covid-19 growth levels, but if cases rise and weigh on the readings further, Beijing may be more likely to increase support for small- and medium-sized enterprises. USD/KRW rose 0.1% to 1,153.01 while USD/SGD was steady at 1.3544 and AUD/USD edged 0.1% higher to 0.7340.


Gold declined in early Asian trade after making some gains last week following the Fed's dovish tone. U.S. 10-year Treasury yields have continued to trend below 1.30%, which could make gold look more appealing with lower opportunity costs, IG said. The brokerage put near-term support for gold prices at $1,800 an ounce. Spot gold was 0.2% lower at $1,810.25/oz.


Oil fell in morning Asian trade amid concerns over the rising number of Covid-19 Delta cases worldwide. Amid the surge in cases of the highly contagious variant, travel demand was also being hit by lower vaccination rates in places like Indonesia and Thailand, though improving U.S. demand may lend oil prices some support, ANZ said. Traders were watching OPEC oil supplies closely as quotas rise by another 400 thousand barrels a day in August under the new production agreement, ANZ says. Front-month WTI crude oil futures fell 0.9% to $73.30/bbl, while Brent dropped 1.1% to $74.61/bbl.

China Caixin Manufacturing PMI Drops to 16-Month Low 
Senators Push to Wrap Up Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill This Week 
Anthony Fauci Warns on Covid-19 That 'Things Are Going to Get Worse' 
Square Agrees to Acquire Afterpay for $29 Billion in All-Stock Deal 
Chile Workers at World's Biggest Copper Mine Vote to Strike 
Samsung Takes Intel's Chip-Seller Crown, but Bigger Showdown Looms 
Oil Search Intends to Recommend New Santos Takeover Proposal 
Keppel Corp. Makes US$1.6B Offer for Singapore Press Holdings 
Fed's Brainard Says Labor Market Hasn't Satisfied Goals for Reducing Bond Purchases 
Myanmar Rulers Extend State of Emergency 
Malaysia's Manufacturing Activity Keeps Contracting as Pandemic Weighs 
U.S. Blames Iran for Drone Attack on Israeli-Linked Tanker 
Succession Drama Grips Scholastic: CEO's Sudden Death, an Office Romance and a Surprise Will 
Ford's Utility Man Drives Its Commercial-Vehicle Strategy 
FDA Under Pressure to Grant Full Approval to Covid-19 Vaccines 
Two U.S. Companies Seek Continued Tariffs on Imported Solar Panels 
Textbook Publisher Pearson Bets Big on Online Learning 
Robinhood Sold IPO Shares to More Than 300,000 of Its Customers 
Nine Point Energy's Bankruptcy Sale Withstands $150 Million Appeal 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

08-01-21 2315ET

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL -0.38% 33926.01 Real-time Quote.2.35%
FTSE 100 1.04% 7901.8 Delayed Quote.6.04%
MSCI SINGAPORE (GDTR) 0.17% 5937.02 Real-time Quote.6.58%
NIKKEI 225 0.39% 27509.46 Real-time Quote.5.42%
S&P 500 -1.04% 4136.48 Real-time Quote.8.86%
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