Singapore shares may face a wishy-washy session on Thursday, with a holiday-shortened week on Wall Street set to dampen cues until the closely watched Black Friday shopping data start rolling in.
“Since we are entering what is affectionately referred to as ‘turkey day,’ barring any unsightly headlines, near-term trading ranges will likely be honored during the Asia session,” Stephen Innes, head of Asia Pacific trading at OANDA, said in a note on Thursday.
But he added, Black Friday shopping in the aftermath of the Thanksgiving holiday dinner in the U.S. will be key to market fortunes ahead.
“It’s down to the U.S. retail sector to provide a lifeboat to investors as the markets pivots,” he said, calling it “the ultimate litmus test of U.S. consumer confidence.”
Will trade war tensions take a breather?
In addition to pre-turkey optimism helping to stabilize U.S. stocks after their long-running selloff, markets may be getting a fillip from hopes the U.S. trade war with China could see some easing tensions. That was after a South China Morning Post report, citing a source with knowledge of the matter, that the White House trade adviser Peter Navarro wouldn’t attend the closely watched meeting between U.S. President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Buenos Aires in December.
Scotiabank said in a note on Wednesday that the development is likely a positive.
“He’s in the extreme minority within the economics community by way of his protectionist leanings— not to mention lack of diplomacy — and so this may be a sign of a push toward a deal over time,” Scotiabank said.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index was up 0.30 percent at 8:07 A.M. SGT, while South Korea’s Kospi was down 1.15 percent at 8:12 A.M. SGT.
Singapore’s Straits Times Index ended Wednesday up 0.39 percent at 3038.65; November futures for the index were at 3039 on Wednesday, while December and January futures were at 3037 and 3039 respectively.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.51 percent to 25,971.471 by Wednesday’s close, while China’s CSI 300 was up 0.25 percent at 3226.492.
Malaysia’s KLCI was down 0.90 percent at 1695.37 at Wednesday’s close, while Indonesia’s IDX Composite was off 0.95 percent at 5948.05.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was nearly flat at 24,464.69 at Wednesday’s close, the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.92 percent to 6972.251 and the S&P 500 was up 0.30 percent at 2649.93. Futures for the three indexes were slightly higher.
U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, and will be open for a half-day of trade on Friday.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was at 96.72 at 7:05 A.M. SGT after touching levels as high as 96.84 in a choppy session in the U.S. on Wednesday, according to ICE futures data.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield was at 3.064 percent at 7:59 A.M. SGT, off levels as high as 3.085 percent earlier in Wednesday’s session, according to Tullett Prebon data.
The euro/dollar was at 1.1390 at 8:21 A.M. SGT after trading in a 1.1363 to 1.1425 range on Wednesday, according to DZHI data.
Sterling under pressure
The British pound/dollar was at 1.2778 at 8:22 A.M. SGT after trading in a 1.2762 to 1.2820 range on Wednesday, according to DZHI data.
Kathy Lien, managing director of foreign-exchange strategy at BK Asset Management, said on Wednesday, U.S. time, that Brexit developments were keeping sterling under pressure.
“There’s a risk that the EU will cancel their special Brexit summit at the end of the month if a deal isn’t reached,” she said. “Until an agreement is reached, sterling will remain under pressure because with each passing day, the risk of a no-deal Brexit grows.”
The dollar/yen was at 113.055 at 8:22 A.M. SGT after trading in a 112.61 to 113.23 range on Wednesday, according to DZHI data.
The dollar/yuan ended Wednesday at 6.9247 after trading in a 6.9247 to 6.9496 range during the session, according to DZHI data.
The dollar/Singapore dollar was at 1.3729 at 8:23 A.M. SGT after trading in a 1.3714 to 1.3767 range on Wednesday, according to DZHI data.
The dollar/Malaysian ringgit was at 4.1920 at 8:08 A.M. SGT after trading in a 4.1870 to 4.1990 range on Wednesday, according to DZHI data.
The dollar/Indonesian rupiah was at 14,600 at Wednesday’s close after trading in a 14,565 to 14,649 range during the session, according to DZHI data.
Nymex WTI crude oil futures for January were up 0.20 percent at US$54.74 a barrel at 7:29 A.M. SGT, while ICE Brent crude oil futures for January were up 1.52 percent at US$63.48 a barrel at 6:59 A.M. SGT, according to Bloomberg data.