Stock Futures Edge Up With Scrutiny on Virus Count: Markets Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — U.S. and European stock futures edged up as traders took in the latest China data on the coronavirus, which showed a daily increase in Hubei cases that’s smaller than yesterday’s, though still bigger than before the methodology changed.

In Asia, Japanese shares fell, while equities in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Seoul advanced. Both global stocks and bond yields are set for weekly advances on optimism about a V-shaped economic recovery from the virus. The yuan continues to trade stronger than 7 per dollar, and oil is above $51 a barrel in New York. Treasuries ticked higher and the yen was little changed.

© Bloomberg The put-to-call ratio on the Nikkei 225 has risen to its highest since 2006

Hubei, the province at the epicenter of the coronavirus, reported almost 5,000 new cases, a day after confirming nearly 15,000. The death toll in China was at 1,380, lowered by more than 100 to account for some double-counting. Earlier, the World Health Organization said a surge in coronavirus diagnoses didn’t necessarily indicate a spike in infections, which had helped to lift risk appetite. E-commerce giant Alibaba Group warned that the disease is having a fundamental impact on China’s economy.

“The difficulty with trading these things is timing — and right here, right now, we are not through the woods yet with the coronavirus,” said Kyle Rodda, market analyst at IG Markets Ltd. “You look for those signals to suggest that effectively we are looking at that kind of V-shaped recovery that is still potentially on the cards.”

Meantime, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said it will shrink its repurchase-agreement operations more than analysts expected. The yield curve flattened.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

Futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.2% as of 7:13 a.m. in London. The gauge dipped 0.2% on Thursday.Euro Stoxx 50 futures were up 0.1%.Japan’s Topix index fell 0.6%.Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.4%.The Shanghai Composite rose 0.4%.South Korea’s Kospi index added 0.5%.Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.4%.

Currencies

The yen was at 109.80 per dollar, little changed.The offshore yuan was flat at 6.9877 per dollar.The pound was at $1.3051 after rising 0.7%.The euro bought $1.0839.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell about two basis points to 1.60%.Australia’s 10-year yield was little changed at 1.05%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $51.48 a barrel.Gold was at $1,575 an ounce.

–With assistance from Toshiro Hasegawa.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in Sydney at ahaigh1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Anstey at canstey@bloomberg.net

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