ASIA STOCKS IN CAUTIOUS START
Asian stocks looked set for a steady start Thursday, July 1, 2021, amid a firmer dollar as traders weigh concerns about the more contagious delta strain of COVID-19 and look ahead to a US payrolls report, Sunil Jagtiani reported for Bloomberg News.
Equity futures were little changed in Japan and Australia. Hong Kong is shut for a holiday.
While the S&P 500 edged up overnight, rounding out one of the best first halves since 1998 for US stocks, the recent spread of the virus variant is tempering some of the optimism around the global recovery. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 contracts were slightly higher in early trading.
The dollar held an advance after completing its best month since March 2020 and Treasuries were steady. US data showed surprise strength in pending home sales and an ongoing labor market recovery.
The payrolls report due Friday will provide a key gauge of economic progress, helping to shape expectations of when the Federal Reserve might start tapering stimulus. S&P 500 futures added 0.1% as of 7:50 a.m. in Tokyo. The index rose 0.1%. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.1%.
The gauge fell 0.1%. Nikkei 225 futures were little changed. S&P/ASX 200 futures were steady.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady after rising 0.3%. The euro was at $1.1856. The Japanese yen was at 111.11 per dollar after sliding 0.5%. The offshore yuan was at 6.4680 per dollar.
The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 1.47%. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2% to $73.59 a barrel. Gold was at $1,769.34 an ounce, Rita Nazareth reported for Bloomberg News.