Record-setting ASX set for soft start; Big tech lifts Wall Street

Asian markets look set for a cautious start Friday after US shares edged toward an all-time high and Treasuries climbed as traders digested some mixed economic data and the latest spate of earnings.

Equity futures dipped in Australia and Hong Kong.

Japan is closed for a holiday. The S&P 500’s biggest three-day advance since April took the gauge closer to a new peak.

Tech shares lifted Wall Street overnight.

Tech shares lifted Wall Street overnight. Credit:AP

Technology firms like Microsoft Corp. led the advance, while cyclical stocks lagged. Twitter jumped on an upbeat outlook, but Intel Corp fell on a lacklustre sales forecast.

Longer-term Treasuries snapped a two-day decline and strong demand for an auction of 10-year inflation-protected securities produced a record-low yield.

The dollar was little changed and the euro lagged its Group-of-10 peers on the European Central Bank’s plan to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy as long as needed.

In China, regulators are considering serious, perhaps unprecedented, penalties for Didi Global Inc. after its controversial initial public offering last month, once again highlighting the pressure on the nation’s tech giants.

Global stocks are on course for a modest weekly gain, bolstered by generally robust corporate earnings and stimulus support. At the same time, 10-year US Treasury yields are set to decline for a fourth week, which for some may signal concerns that economic growth could be peaking in part as the delta coronavirus strain forces mobility curbs in some countries.

The latest US economic reports were mixed, showing sales of previously owned homes rose for the first time in five months, while jobless claims unexpectedly climbed.

“There’s going to be some choppiness in the market in the second half of the year, but we think it’s going to trend higher,” said Victoria Fernandez, chief market strategist at Crossmark Global Investments.

“We have so much liquidity in the market right now, you have companies with a tremendous amount of cash on their balance sheets, you have rates at tremendous lows.”

Elsewhere, oil rose to the highest in a week amid expectations of tightening supplies as demand recovers. Bitcoin held above $US32,000.


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