Singapore’s stocks may face fewer headwinds on Friday after a positive lead from Wall Street and as there were few new developments in the U.S. trade war overnight.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended up 0.41 percent on Thursday, the S&P 500 index rose 0.62 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.79 percent. Futures for the DJIA were nose up in early trade, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures were essentially flat.
The Straits Times Index ended Thursday up 0.086 percent at 3257.57; July futures for the index were at 3249 on Thursday, while August futures were at 3217.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index had opened a tad higher, but later turned negative, trading down 0.21 percent in early trade.
“With worries about protectionism unlikely to disappear any time soon and uncertainty over the outlook for U.S. monetary policy set to persist, further volatility in the region’s financial markets seem likely,” Capital Economics said in a note on Thursday.
Trade war developments
U.S. manufacturers have sent a raft of requests to the U.S. Commerce Department to exempt them from the Trump administration’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, in a process that makes proprietary, competitive information open to the public, Reuters reported on Thursday.
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was at 95.32 at 7:55 A.M. SGT, after trading in an around 95.12 to 95.49 range overnight.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield was at 2.844 percent at 8:06 A.M. SGT.
In the U.S., data showed gross domestic product (GDP) increased 2.0 percent on-year in the first quarter, down from a preliminary 2.2 percent estimate reported last month, on weaker consumer spending and a smaller increase in inventories, according to Reuters report.
The dollar/yen was at 110.429 at 8:07 A.M. SGT after trading in a 109.94 to 110.649 range overnight, according to DZHI data.
The euro/dollar was at 1.1567 at 8:09 A.M.. SGT after trading in a 1.1526 to 1.1601 range overnight.
The Singapore dollar continued to weaken overnight. The dollar/sing was at 1.3680 at 8:11 A.M. SGT after trading in a 1.3648 to 1.3705 range overnight. That compares with levels around 1.3363 at the beginning of the month.
Nymex WTI crude oil futures for August were down 0.12 percent at US$73.36 a barrel at 8:03 A.M. SGT, while ICE Brent crude futures were up 0.30 percent at US$77.85 at 5:03 A.M. SGT, according to Bloomberg data.
Reuters reported, citing two industry sources, that India’s oil ministry asked refiners to prepare for a “drastic reduction or zero” imports of Iranian oil from November, the deadline that the U.S. has given allies to stop importing Iranian oil as it seeks to re-impose sanctions.
India has said it doesn’t recognize the U.S. sanctions, which were reimposed after the Trump administration violated the Iran nuclear treaty, but Reuters reported the two industry sources said that India would be forced to take action due to its exposure to the U.S. financial system.
Traders likely had another late night of World Cup watching on Thursday.
England lost to Belgium 0-1, Panama lost to Tunisia 1-2, Senegal fell to Colombia 0-1 and Japan lost to Poland 0-1.
The round of 16 is set to begin on Saturday, with France going up against Argentina.