- Global Stocks Mixed as Yen and Won Drop, Oil Gains
Global stocks were mixed, with a falling yen pushing shares higher in Japan while Korean shares slumped, as investors weighed geopolitical risks and the path for U.S. monetary policy.
Equities in Tokyo and Sydney climbed with traders in the Asia Pacific region taking their first chance to react to worse-than-forecast U.S. hiring data. The Kospi slipped the most in more than five weeks and the won led losses among major currencies as geopolitical concerns lingered in South Korea. The yen weakened against the dollar for a third straight day. Oil added to last week’s rally.
Financial markets are showing resilience in the face of Friday’s weaker employment figures for the world’s largest economy and a ratcheting up of geopolitical tensions, with demand for haven assets abating. While the jobs report was weaker than some had expected, it’s consistent with the U.S. economy growing at two percent this year, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said in Melbourne Monday. Corporate results ramp up this week with earnings due from the likes of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Tesco Plc and Prada SpA.
While most investors moved past last week’s missile attack on Syria, anxiety remained in South Korea amid speculation Donald Trump could make a similarly aggressive move against North Korea. An American aircraft carrier bound for Australia has been diverted to North Asia. Meanwhile, the much-anticipated meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump ended with no mention of concrete measures to defuse tensions with Pyongyang.
What investors will be watching this week:
- Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile and South Korea are among countries setting interest rates this week.
- U.S. banks will start reporting first-quarter earnings, led by Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan and Wells Fargo & Co.
- Fed Chair Janet Yellen speaks Monday in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Fed Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari will participate in a Q&A at a meeting of the Minnesota Business Partnership on Tuesday.
- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg will visit Washington and meet with Trump on Wednesday. European leaders remain anxious about the U.S. level of support after Trump’s complaints that some NATO nations weren’t paying their share.