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Asia Stocks Face Mixed Start; Dollar Rebounds: Markets Wrap

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Stocks in Asia looked set for a mixed end to the week as the dollar recovered losses and investors digested a raft of earnings from Amazon.com Inc. to Baidu Inc.

The American equity session was dominated by a bout of volatility that sent the Nasdaq 100 Index lower and pushed up the CBOE Volatility Index, though that eased late in the day. The dollar rebounded as data showed U.S. durable-goods orders climbed more than expected, while Treasuries fell.

Attention remains on corporate results ahead of a report on U.S. second-quarter growth. Baidu smashed earnings estimates as its core search advertising business bounces back from Chinese regulations that squeezed earnings last year. Higher expenses and disappointing profit growth sent Amazon shares lower.

The dollar has recovered from a selloff earlier this week triggered by a Federal Reserve statement indicating concern about inflation. Policy makers are expected to begin reducing the Fed’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet in September even as they avoid rushing to raise interest rates.

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Here are some key events that wrap up this week:

  • Japan releases inflation, unemployment and retail sales for June, supplying the latest snapshot of the economy and the Bank of Japan’s progress toward reaching 2 percent inflation.
  • The U.S. economy probably accelerated in the second quarter to a 2.5 percent annualized pace, fueled by a pickup in consumer spending after a slowdown at the start of the year.
  • Corporate results due Friday include Credit Suisse Group AG, Nomura Holdings Inc., Exxon Mobil Corp., and Barclays Plc.

Here are the main moves in markets:

Stocks 

  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index fell 0.1 percent as of 7:08 a.m. in Tokyo. 
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index rose 0.6 percent on Thursday to the highest in almost three years.
  • Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average were little changed, as were those on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index.

Currencies

  • The yen traded at 111.26 per dollar and the euro bought $1.1674. 
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.4 percent on Thursday.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose two basis points to 2.31 percent on Thursday, when the German 10-year bund yield fell two basis points to 0.54 percent.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate has climbed from $45.77 a barrel at the end of last week to settle at $49.04 on Thursday. It rose 0.2 percent in early Friday trading. 
  • Gold was flat at $1,259.40 an ounce, on course for a third week of gains.

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