A fresh decline on Wall Street failed to dampen Asian markets on Friday, as investors bought despite a decline that kept the S&P 500 and Nasdaq on pace for their first weekly losses since late December.
Stocks climbed in Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major markets after they tumbled earlier in the week. U.S. futures rose and the yield on the 10-year Treasury note was steady at 1.31 percent.
As the 19 countries that use the euro recover from the recent Coronavirus recession, the markets seem to have taken note of the ECB’s decision to scale back some of its massive emergency pandemic aid to the economy.
Christine Lagarde assured investors the change was merely a “recalibration” of existing stimulus measures, not the end of pandemic support.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 NIK added 1.2%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HSI developed a 1.5% gain. South Korea’s KOSPI index rose 0.4% while the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1%. The S&P/ASX 200 Index XJO, +0.50% gained 0.3%. Taiwan Y9999, +0.98%, and Singapore STI, +0.88% rose, and Malaysia FBMKLCI, -0.18%, and Indonesia JAKIDX, +0.44% fell.
Due to concerns that the rapid spread of the delta variant of the Covid-19 could dent consumer confidence and spending, investors are gauging the pace of economic growth.
“The economy seems to be slowing down, and it’s hard to tell how much of that is temporary due to the delta variant and how much is the new normal,” said Chris Zaccarelli, CEO of Independent Advisor Alliance.
Losses in health care and technology companies offset gains in energy and banks in New York. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.46% lost 0.5%, its fourth straight decline, to 4,493.28. The Nasdaq COMP, -0.25% fell 0.3% to 15,248.25. Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.43% fell by 0.4% to 34,879.38.
Bond yields mainly fell. Yield on 10-year Treasuries fell from 1.33% to 1.30% Wednesday.
According to the Labor Department, the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to 310,000. Weekly benefits claims are now approaching 225,000, which was the pre-pandemic level.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Congress that if the debt limit is not increased, the Fed will have no room to reduce stimulus by the end of the year.
A U.S. benchmark crude oil contract CLV21, +1.92%, rose 10 cents to $68.24 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Thursday, it had lost $1.16 to $68.14 a barrel.