Asia Stocks Set for Modest Gains in Thin Trading: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — Asian stocks look poised for gains in holiday-thinned trading as investors mulled Friday’s strong U.S. jobs report. The dollar was little changed against its major peers.

Futures in Japan pointed to a modest rise. S&P 500 futures were little changed after closing higher Friday with the March payrolls report showing U.S. employers added the most jobs in seven months. The yield on 10-year Treasuries added five basis points to 1.72%. Many equity markets are closed Monday, including in Australia, China and Hong Kong. Treasuries have a shortened session in Asia and futures were little changed in early trading. Oil slipped.

Investors are watching the progress of debate over U.S. President Joe Biden’s $2.25 trillion infrastructure proposal, as Republicans expressed guarded support for a more limited plan. The response so far in bond markets has been muted, with inflation concerns easing amid doubts over the viability of more-generous spending, even as central banks remain committed to keeping interest rates lower for longer.

“We are not doubting the market’s expectations of strong U.S. economic momentum,” said Eric Robertsen, chief strategist at Standard Chartered Bank. “But the market has also priced in much of the good news up front.”

Traders are also tuned to the possible market impact of a meeting between Biden’s top national security and economic advisers on April 12 with semiconductor and auto companies to discuss the global shortage of microprocessors, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Some key events to watch this week:

The Reserve Bank of Australia delivers its policy decision Tuesday.U.S. Federal Reserve publishes minutes from its March meeting on Wednesday.Japan publishes its balance of payments numbers Thursday.China’s consumer and producer prices data are due Friday.Fed Chairman Jerome Powell takes part in an IMF panel on the global economy Friday.

These are some of the main moves in financial markets:

Stocks

S&P 500 futures were little changed as of 7:01 a.m. Tokyo time. They rose 0.4% Friday.Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures were up 0.2% earlier.

Currencies

The yen was steady at 110.66 per dollar.The euro was flat at $1.1757.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries added five basis points to 1.72% Friday.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.4% to $61.17 a barrel.Gold was flat at $1,729 an ounce.

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