Asian shares to pause ahead of China data, U.S. 'altitude sickness'
By Lawrence Delevingne BOSTON (Reuters) - Asian shares were set for a largely flat start on Friday as markets weighed a pause in Wall Street's multi-month stock rebound and awaited the release of Chinese economic data later in the session. Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures were down 0.05%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 futures were up 0.06% after the Nikkei 225 index closed up 1.78% at 23,249.61 on Thursday.
By Lawrence Delevingne
BOSTON (Reuters) - Asian shares were set for a largely flat start on Friday as markets weighed a pause in Wall Street's multi-month stock rebound and awaited the release of Chinese economic data later in the session.
Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures
The S&P 500 <.SPX> ended slightly lower on Thursday after briefly trading above its record closing high level for a second day, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> also dipped in the wake of a disappointing forecast from Cisco Systems Inc
Wall Street's hesitation came as U.S. lawmakers continued to battle over a new economic stimulus package and after a report from the U.S. Labor Department showed the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped below one million last week for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic - not enough to change economists' views that the jobs market recovery was faltering.
"Many say that the best treatment for altitude sickness is to stop and rest where you are," Rodrigo Catril, Senior FX Strategist at National Australia Bank in Sydney, wrote in a note about the slight pullback in U.S. stocks and government bonds.
E-mini futures for the S&P 500
The dollar index <=USD> fell 0.141%. The Japanese yen weakened 0.03% versus the greenback
Joseph Capurso, Head of International Economics at Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney, said economic data expected later on Friday from China would drive trading in the Australian dollar and Chinese currency.
"We anticipate July retail sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment will all point to a continued robust recovery in China," he wrote. "The China‑led, commodity‑heavy, recovery in the global economy supports commodity currencies such as AUD."
Benchmark U.S. Treasury yields surged to seven-week highs on Thursday after the Treasury sold a record amount of 30-year bonds to weak demand. Ten-year yields
Oil prices eased on Thursday after a weaker demand forecast, but the weak dollar limited losses as traders kept an eye on U.S. stimulus headlines. U.S. crude
(Reporting by Lawrence Delevingne in Boston)
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By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.