Economic news

Asian Shares Subdued after US Tech Falters, Dollar and Yields Hold Gains

  • Tesla fell 10%, Netflix slid 8.4%; more reporting next week
  • Yuan range bound after strong official fixing
  • A fall in jobless claims challenges view that Fed will be done
  • Markets look ahead to Fed, ECB, BOJ next week

SYDNEY, July 21 (Reuters) - Asian shares were subdued on Friday after earnings reports from Tesla and Netflix failed to dazzle, while the dollar and Treasury yields held gains ahead of an action-packed week that could see the end of the U.S. tightening cycle.

European shares were set for a lower open, with EUROSTOXX 50 futures off 0.3%. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures were up 0.1%.

As well as the U.S. Federal Reserve and European Central Bank meetings next week, the Bank of Japan will meet amid speculation of imminent policy tweaks. Early on Friday, Japan's inflation stayed above the central bank's target of 2% for the 15th straight month in June, but gains matched a median market forecast.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.5%, heading for a weekly loss of 1.8%. Japan's Nikkei, meanwhile, lost 0.6%.

A technology sub-index slid 2.2%. Shares of Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC slumped 3.3%, after the world's largest contract chipmaker flagged a 10% drop in 2023 sales.

China's blue chips wobbled 0.2% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index gained 0.4%.

The yuan was range-bound on Friday after authorities stepped up efforts to defend a weakening currency, alongside yuan-buying trades by state-owned banks.

Concerns are also brewing over the health of Chinese property developers, after rating agencies warned Wanda Commercial could default on its debt repayment. Dollar bonds of Country Garden (2007.HK) tumbled on Friday.

"China's property sector has entered its longest downtrend in the past two decades and the worst may not be over," said Betty Wang, senior China economist at ANZ.

"At the current stage, there is no single panacea available. Multi-pronged efforts are needed to prevent further slides."

Anticipation for more policy support is building ahead of the politburo meeting at the end of July. Beijing on Friday released some new measures to help auto and electronics consumption, which failed to generate much excitement in the market.

On Wall Street, after rallying almost 40% since the turn of the year, the Nasdaq fell 2% overnight, the biggest one-day loss since March, driven by steep post-earnings plunges in mega tech stocks Tesla and Netflix.

The electric-vehicle maker reported a drop in its second-quarter gross margins to a four-year low while the streaming video company's quarterly revenue fell short of estimates.

Also, an unexpected fall in the U.S. weekly jobless claims fuelled expectations for a strong payrolls report, after markets braced for higher interest rates in the U.S. and Europe.

They nudged up the chance of a second increase from the Fed by November to 33%, and slightly pared back the size of rate cuts next year to just under 100 basis points.

Ten-year Treasury yields were mostly flat in Asia at 3.8487%, after spiking 11 basis points overnight, while two-years held at 4.8286%, having gained 8 bps overnight.

The U.S. dollar index was little changed at 100.78, after advancing 0.5% overnight, the biggest one-day gain since mid-May. The Australian dollar gave up almost all of its gains made after a strong local jobs data release to hover below 68 cents.

Markets are looking ahead to next week when Fed, the European Central Bank and the BOJ will be meeting to decide on their policy and debate the rate outlook.

"While we anticipate that July will bring the Fed's last rate increase of this cycle, we do not think the Fed is comfortable signalling that shift just yet. Rather, policymakers appear more comfortable maintaining a hawkish stance for now," said analysts at TD Securities.

Elsewhere, oil prices were higher. Brent crude futures were up 0.8% at $80.27 per barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures rose 0.8% to $76.25.

Gold prices were flat at $1,969.95 per ounce.

Reporting by Stella Qiu; Editing by Lincoln Feast

Source: Reuters

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