Asian stocks gained along with US futures early Monday as traders kicked off a busy week for economic data and awaited commentary from the Federal Reserve chief. Treasuries slipped.
Shares in Hong Kong led gains, with those in Tokyo, Seoul and Sydney all higher and S&P 500 contracts rising. Sentiment was supported by a positive close on Wall Street Friday and comments from President Donald Trump on trade talks with China. Treasury yields continued to recover from multi-year lows reached last week, when an inversion in the yield curve sparked recession worries. The yen and yuan were steady, and the dollar little changed.
With market volatility soaring in August, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s address at the Kansas Fed’s annual Jackson Hole gathering on Friday will be key to gauging whether US policymakers will add to July’s rate cut. On trade, Larry Kudlow said recent phone calls between US and China negotiators had produced “positive news” while Trump confirmed talks were ongoing but suggested he wasn’t ready to sign a trade deal.
Investors will also be watching out for purchasing manager’s data from the US and euro-area this week. Those in Asia are keeping a close eye on Hong Kong, where a peaceful protest at the weekend appeared to be the largest in over a month.
Elsewhere, crude climbed after a drone attack on oil and gas facilities in Saudi Arabia underscored geopolitical risk in the Middle East.