Stocks in Asia Nudge Higher Before China Data: Markets Wrap – Bloomberg

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Asian stocks advanced, following gains in U.S. shares, as investors await data that may show Chinese economic growth held steady.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index was higher for a sixth day after soft June U.S. consumer price data dragged bond yields lower and pushed the S&P 500 Index to a record high, highlighting the Federal Reserve’s concern that inflation is languishing below its 2 percent target. The dollar remained at the lowest since September with speculators holding on to the most bearish positions on the greenback since 2013.

China data provides the latest clues on expansion in the world’s second-largest economy, coming fresh on the heels of weak U.S. retails sales and inflation data. Earnings season ramps up this week with Microsoft Corp. and Unilever among those scheduled to report results.

Japan is closed for a holiday on Monday.

China’s gross domestic product probably grew 6.8 percent in the second quarter from a year before, bolstered by solid overseas and domestic demand and giving the government some extra breathing space to pursue its deleveraging program. Industrial production is projected to have expanded 6.7 percent year-to-date, with retail sales up 10.3 percent in the first six months. Here’s a guide to Monday’s data.

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On the radar this week:

  • The European Central Bank meets Thursday and Bloomberg Intelligence expects no change then, and no rate hike before 2019. Reuters cited unidentified officials as saying the bank is keen to keep asset purchases open-ended. 
  • The Bank of Japan is forecast to stand pat at its meeting on Thursday.
  • Round 2 of Brexit talks get underway in Brussels.
  • Australia’s central bank releases on Tuesday minutes of its July 4 gathering. Government data on the labor market is due out Thursday.

Here are the main moves in markets:

  • The yen traded at 112.46 per dollar as of 10:26 a.m. in Singapore, after climbing 1.2 percent last week. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat after losing 1.3 percent last week.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index advanced 0.1 percent, extending last week’s 3.1 percent surge. South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.5 percent and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was flat.
  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index rose 0.1 percent.
  • Treasury futures were little changed in early trading. The yield on 10-year U.S. notes dropped five basis points last week to 2.33 percent.
  • The Aussie slid 0.1 percent on Monday to 78.22 U.S. cents.
  • West Texas Intermediate advanced 0.2 percent to $46.60 a barrel, heading for a sixth day of gains.