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Asia Stocks Pare Losses as S&P 500 Futures Climb

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A rebound in U.S. equity futures Monday offered some hope of stabilization after last week’s rout, with shares in Asia paring losses as investors continued to assess the impact American protectionist policies will have on global growth.

Japanese equities reversed declines of more than 1 percent to end higher, while shares also gained in Seoul. Stocks stayed lower in Shanghai with investors awaiting further developments on the U.S.-China tariffs, while those in Hong Kong and Sydney also fell. Futures on the S&P 500 Index and the Nasdaq advanced. The yen slipped back from the strongest in more than 16 months against the dollar and Treasury yields ticked higher.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox News that he’s “cautiously hopeful” the top two economic powers will reach a deal to avoid the tariffs U.S. President Donald Trump ordered on at least $50 billion of Chinese imports. Part of the problem for investors is assessing how the tariffs will be implemented, particularly after Trump exempted a handful of key partners from planned steel and aluminum tariffs.

Mnuchin’s comments came after the administration announced a deal with South Korea that he said would limit the amount of steel imported into the U.S.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty right now,” Oliver Pursche, chief market strategist at Bruderman Asset Management, told Bloomberg TV. “Over the next week or two, investors should be prepared for more volatility but should also be looking out for some great companies that are going to be available to buy at very, very good prices.”

While this week may remain volatile as investors tweak portfolios prior to the end of the first quarter in shortened trading for many markets due to the Easter holiday, some say the sell-off is overdone. Market conditions are looking favorable heading into the second quarter and asset allocations should remain oriented toward growth, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Elsewhere, crude oil fell after its biggest weekly gain since July. China launched its first ever crude-futures contract with yuan-denominated futures on the Shanghai International Energy Exchange trading at 432.2 yuan a barrel ($68.48) for September settlement at 9:45 a.m. local time.

Here’s a list of what’s coming up this week:

U.S. personal income and spending data for February, coupled with the Fed’s favored inflation gauge are the key pieces of U.S. data. Income and spending are forecast to grow at the same pace as January but consensus sees the core PCE deflator picking up to 1.6 percent from 1.5 percent.

This week’s European economic agenda is highlighted by March CPI readings in the big four euro-area economies and output data for the U.K. Headline inflation probably ticked up in Germany, France, Spain and Italy. A third estimate of U.K. GDP is set to confirm growth of 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter.

The U.S. Treasury will probably auction about $294 billion of bills and notes this week, its largest slate of supply ever.

Terminal users can read more in our markets live blog.

And these are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

Japan’s Topix index rose 0.4 percent at the close in Tokyo. It fell as much as 1.2 percent earlier.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index lost 0.5 percent.

South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.7 percent.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 0.5 percent.

Shanghai Composite Index lost 1.5 percent.

The MSCI Asia Pacific was little changed after falling 3.5 percent last week.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index added 0.8 percent. The underlying measure dropped 2.1 percent on Friday, bringing its weekly slide to 6 percent.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat.

The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.2365.

The pound traded at $1.4156, up 0.2 percent.

The yen weakened 0.3 percent to 105.02 per dollar, edging back from the strongest in more than 16 months.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose two basis points to 2.83 percent.

Australia’s 10-year bond yield added one basis point to 2.66 percent.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude lost 0.6 percent to $65.52 a barrel.

Gold was down 0.2 percent to $1,344.60 an ounce, trading around the highest in more than a month.

Source: Bloomberg