Asian shares advanced after data underscored the resilience of the American and Chinese economies, while the U.S. administration sent mixed signals on North Korea and its latest missile launch. The yen fell for a third day and oil declined.
Equity benchmarks rose in Tokyo and Sydney after U.S. stocks advanced for a fourth day. South Korea’s Kospi index fluctuated after the central bank held interest rates at a record low and U.S. President Donald Trump published a Twitter post on North Korea. The dollar strengthened from the lowest in more than two years after second-quarter growth figures were revised up. Oil declined and gasoline advanced as Harvey continued to pound the energy-rich Gulf of Mexico coast, home to more than half of the U.S.’s refining capacity.
China’s official factory gauge further strengthened in August, data showed Thursday, defying economist forecasts for a decline. That came after a report Wednesday showed U.S. second-quarter growth reached the fastest pace in two years on stronger household spending and gains in business investment. A private report on payrolls indicated robust hiring this month, two days before government jobs data will be scoured for clues on the timing of the Federal Reserve’s next rate move.
Trump signaled he is running out of patience with Kim Jong Un’s regime after the latest provocation in which Pyongyang sent a missile over Japan earlier this week. Trump dismissed the idea of negotiating, while his defense chief said the U.S. hasn’t given up on diplomatic options.
Storm Harvey returned to land and is poised to dump more rain over Texas and Louisiana. Refineries have been battered, with more than an estimated 4 million barrels a day — or about 23 percent of U.S. refinery capacity — getting hit.
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Among other key events looming this week:
- Japan’s industrial production fell 0.8 percent last month from June, more than than the 0.3 percent drop estimated. South Korea’s industrial output rose 1.9 percent in July month-on-month, beating the 0.5 percent economists’ forecast.
- India’s second-quarter GDP growth probably accelerated to 6.5 percent year-on-year from 6.1 percent in the prior three months.
- The Bank of Korea held rates as expected, though investors will be eager to scrutinize Governor Lee Ju-yeol’s comments on the economy for guidance on future changes.
- The U.S. releases on Thursday a key personal consumption expenditure report that the Federal Reserve looks at, ahead of jobs data out on Friday.
And here are the main moves in markets:
- The Topix index rose 0.6 percent as of 10:10 a.m. Tokyo time, while the Kospi was little changed. Australia’s S&P/ASX 500 Index added 0.7 percent and shares also gained in Taiwan and Singapore.
- Contracts on the S&P 500 Index climbed 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge advanced 0.5 percent on Wednesday.
- The yen fell 0.1 percent to 110.40 per dollar, adding to two days of losses.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat after rising 0.4 percent, recovering from the lowest in more than two years.
- The Aussie dollar was little changed at 79.12 U.S. cents after declining for two days.
- The euro was steady at $1.1894 after dropping 0.7 percent.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose two basis points to 2.15 percent.
- Yields on Australian 10-year bonds increased five basis points to 2.72 percent.
- West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.1 percent to $45.90 a barrel, sliding for a fourth day.
- Gold declined 0.2 percent to $1,306.60 an ounce.
- Gasoline for September advanced for an eighth day, up 6.5 percent to $2.0065 a gallon.