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Global Stocks Mixed Before Yellen Yuan Surges

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Global stocks were mixed as investors awaited an appearance by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen for clues on the outlook for interest rates and the American economy.

China’s yuan jumped.

Both the onshore and overseas yuan surged amid speculation of central bank intervention. European shares slipped as automakers retreated, while South Korean retailers jumped as consumer confidence reached a six-year high. Health-care stocks fell as Republican Senators struggled to find enough support for their plan to repeal Obamacare. Treasuries held an advance after an unexpected decline in U.S. orders for business equipment. Oil climbed for a fourth day, while gold rebounded after an apparently erroneous order triggered a plunge in the price in London on Monday.

The trading in the yuan added another unusual twist after a string of Hong Kong stocks earlier in the day suddenly plunged. Sixteen companies tumbled by more than 50 percent as of the lunch break, losing a combined HK$39.8 billion ($5.1 billion) in market value. Traders pointed to links between some of the companies and a brokerage that’s under regulatory investigation.

The weakness in U.S. durable goods data added to concerns about the strength of economic growth after the recent rout in the oil market and signs that inflation is trailing expectations. Some investors worry the Fed is taking too rosy a view of the economy as it sets the path for further interest-rate increases.

With little data on the calendar Tuesday, investors will focus on an address by Yellen for clues on policy. More reports are due later this week from around the globe — covering everything from inflation to employment, manufacturing and housing.

Health-care stocks declined as at least three Republican senators said they would vote to block the current version of their party’s health-care bill from advancing. Brazilian President Michel Temer was charged with corruption in a highly anticipated development that may put the embattled leader of Latin America’s largest economy on trial. Temer, who has denied the charges, could lose his job if indicted and found guilty.

India and Singapore reopened after holidays while markets in Malaysia, Indonesia and most of the Middle East remain closed.

Here are some important upcoming events:

The Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee releases its stability report on Tuesday and Governor Mark Carney holds a press conference.

The Federal Reserve is set to announce the results of the second part of its annual U.S. bank stress test on Wednesday.

China’s PMI might have declined in June after unexpectedly remaining unchanged in May, reflecting government offers to cut overcapacity and leverage. That reading is due Friday.

Also slated this week: Japanese inflation, factory output, unemployment, household consumption and housing starts.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

The Stoxx Europe 600 Index slipped 0.2 percent as of 8:22 a.m. in London, as declines in auto makers overshadowed a rally in basic resources shares.

Japan’s Topix climbed 0.4 percent, to the highest closing level since August 2015.

South Korea’s Kospi added 0.1 percent, with E-Mart Inc. and Lotte Shopping Co. advancing more than 4 percent. Consumer confidence rose to the highest since January 2011 as exports grow and the new president’s policies on job creation spur optimism.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was little changed and the Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.2 percent.

The NEXT FUNDS Ibovespa Linked Exchange Traded Fund, which tracks the Brazilian benchmark index, rose 0.6 percent in Tokyo trading.

Futures on the S&P 500 Index slipped less than 0.1 percent. The underlying gauge rose less than one point on Monday. The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.4 percent.

Currencies

The offshore yuan jumped as much as 0.4 percent in the afternoon spike, after spending much of the earlier part of the day little changed. The yuan traded in Shanghai’s onshore market climbed as much as 0.4 percent before paring that to 0.2 percent.

The yen climbed 0.2 percent to 111.71 per dollar, after losing 0.5 percent on Monday. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.1 percent after gaining 0.1 percent in the previous session.

The British pound was steady at $1.2722. The euro rose less than 0.1 percent to $1.1190.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.7 percent to $43.69 a barrel, adding to a three-day rally following oil’s drop into a bear market.

Gold rose 0.5 percent to $1,250.68 an ounce. The precious metal sank almost 1 percent on Monday.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 2.13 percent, after dropping less than one basis point on Monday.

Source: Bloomberg