Asian stocks were broadly steady Thursday after U.S. shares moved in narrow ranges as traders digested commentary from Federal Reserve officials on the outlook for stimulus.
Stocks were little changed in Japan, climbed in Hong Kong and edged lower in China, where the central bank increased its injection of short-term cash into the financial system.
India’s SGX Nifty 50 Index futures for June delivery, expiring today, rose 0.2% to 15,723.00, while MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.1%. The NSE Nifty 50 Index fell 0.5% Wednesday to 15,686.95.
U.S. futures advanced, following a modest drop in the S&P 500 despite gains among firms that benefit from economic reopening. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield remained below 1.50%.
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, who’s penciled in a rate hike next year, said the economy will likely meet the Fed’s threshold for tapering asset purchases sooner than people think. His Atlanta counterpart Raphael Bostic said the central bank could decide to slow such purchases in the next few months. Neither are currently voting members of the Fed’s rate setting committee.
The dollar was little changed, while the yen held a slump, in part as the rebound from the pandemic dents the allure of haven currencies. Traders were monitoring for any impact from news that the U.S. is poised to bar some solar products made in the Xinjiang region over alleged human rights abuses.
Data Wednesday showed U.S. manufacturing activity expanded in June at the fastest pace in records dating back to 2007. Factories are grappling with supplier delays, record growth in input costs and hiring difficulties.
Elsewhere, crude oil held above $73 a barrel. Bitcoin traded at around $33,700, steadying after a slide earlier in the week.
Back home, Apollo Hospitals may react as the company reported quarterly results after the market closed Wednesday. ONGC, Ashok Leyland are among the companies scheduled to report earnings Thursday. Reliance Industries, Bank of Maharashtra, Linde India, Rallis India among companies holding their annual shareholders’ meeting. Foreign investors sold net Rs 680 crore of stocks on Tuesday, according to NSDL website.