Asian stocks falter as global growth fears temper tech boost

(Reuters) – Asian stocks fluctuated in a troubled session on Friday as miserable US economic data and rising global COVID-19 cases weighed on sentiment despite strong US tech gains and signs of a recovery in manufacturing in China and Japan .

FILE PHOTO: A security guard with a face mask walks past the Bund Financial Bull statue on March 18, 2020 after an outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Bund in Shanghai, China. REUTERS / Aly Song / File Photo

The US dollar was also set for the worst month in ten years as the Fed will maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy for years to come.

US GDP plummeted in the second quarter at an annual rate of 32.9%, the lowest decline in existence, while unemployment claims rose last week, which contributed to signs of a slowdown in the economic recovery.

These numbers overshadowed positive production data from China and Japan. China's official PMI (Purchasing Manager & # 39; s Index) data showed factory activity grew faster for five consecutive months in July and resisted expectations of a slowdown, while Japan's industrial output fell four months in June.

"We are seeing some tentative signs of an improvement in global trade flows as economies reopen, but the overhang from recessive conditions in developed countries and rising infection rates are currently a focus for investors," said Ryan Felsman, senior economist at CommSec in Sydney.

After the surge in early trading, MSCI's broadest index of Asian stocks outside of Japan fell .MIAPJ0000PUS until late morning. It was last down 0.22%.

Australian stocks fell 1.85% during the month, and Seoul's Kospi .KS11 fell 0.2%. Japanese Nikkei .N225 fell 1.87% as a stronger yen weighed on exporters.

The Chinese blue chips .CSI300 recently fell 0.29% in a troubled session.

But futures definitely pointed to a positive opening on Wall Street on Friday after Apple (AAPL.O), Amazon (AMZN.O), Facebook (FB.O) and alphabet (TogetL.O) reported a quarterly profit for the first time on the same day that exceeded all Wall Street estimates.

"Everyone has turned off the lights on their winning numbers," said Ray Attrill, strategist at the National Australia Bank. "It looks like it should be a pretty risky weekend run."

The e-mini futures for the S & P 500 ESc1 rose by 0.38%.

The stocks of the largest US technology companies, which are considered “stay-at-home” winners as millions of Americans have been instructed indoors to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, have reached record highs in recent months as coronavirus Pandemic has brought the economy into sharp decline since the Great Depression.

US stock markets, oil prices and the dollar weakened Thursday as the new data highlighted the deep economic effects of the corona virus and US President Donald Trump raised the possibility of a delay in the November election.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 225.92 points or 0.85% to 26,313.65, the S & P 500 .SPX lost 12.22 points or 0.38% to 3,246.22 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 44.87 points or 0.43% to 10,587.81.

In the foreign exchange market, the dollar fell 0.39% against the yen to JPY 104.31, while the euro rose 0.4% and bought USD 1.1889.

The greenback remains on track for the worst month in ten years. The dollar index = USD falls 0.12% to 92.679.

Crude recovered from an overnight slump and the global reference Brent crude LCOc1 rose 0.54% to 43.17 a barrel. US crude rose 0.3% to $ 40.04 a barrel.

Gold also rose, with Spot Gold XAU = 0.48% higher at $ 1,968.84 an ounce, just below the record highs.

10-year US benchmark Treasury bills US10YT = RR returned 0.525% compared to a US closing price of 0.541% on Thursday. The two-year yield US2YT = RR reached 0.1113%, compared to a US closing price of 0.121%.

Reporting by Andrew Galbraith in Shanghai and Suzanne Barlyn in New York; Edited by Stephen Coates

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