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Asian markets hunker down ahead of U.S. presidential debate

Tue, 29th Sep 2020 06:53

* Asian stock markets : tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4

* Japan, China shares gain

* U.S., Europe set to open higher ahead of U.S presidential
debate

By Kane Wu

Sept 29 (Reuters) - Asian markets hunkered down on Tuesday
ahead of the first U.S. presidential debate later in the global
day, with investors also remaining cautious over the global
economy's prospects as coronavirus deaths surpassed the
1-million mark worldwide.

U.S shares were set to open higher with E-mini futures for
the S&P 500 up 0.43%, while London's FTSE futures
were up 0.22% and eurostoxx 50 futures were up
0.34%.

"Globally, a loss of momentum and the renewed rise in
COVID-19 infection rates points to the need for additional
fiscal and monetary support. That policy outlook is continuing
to provide a supportive backdrop to equities despite recent
volatility," ANZ Bank analysts wrote in a note.
Japan's benchmark Nikkei average edged up 0.22% into
positive territory while China's blue-chip CSI 300 index
climed 0.51%.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
rose 0.31% to 554.56.

Hong Kong's Hang Seng index however was down 0.24%,
wiping out morning gains.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index also fell back to
trade flat after earlier touching its highest level in three
weeks. New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 index lost 0.51%.

Asian markets have been buoyed by positive signs around
China's economic recovery, although the coronavirus pandemic
continues to wreak economic havoc globally and raise concern
about high valuations.

But trade in Asia was subdued ahead of China's Golden Week
holiday, from Oct.1-8, and other national holidays in the
region.

The first U.S. presidential debate is scheduled later in the
global day (Wednesday 0100 GMT), otherwise investors' focus was
locked on U.S. lawmakers efforts to cobble together additional
economic stimulus.

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi was set
to hold further talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on
Tuesday morning in Washington.

U.S. consumer confidence and home price data is also due
later. Upcoming U.S. economic data should help show how well the
country is positioned to rebound from pandemic lockdowns, and
how necessary more stimulus will be.

Wall Street showed strong gains on Monday, particularly in
hard-hit sectors like hotels, banks and airlines.

But there was also cause for caution, as Europe is
experiencing a rise in new COVID-19 infections and some U.S.
states continue to grapple with high case numbers.

Safe-haven spot gold was flat at around $1881 a an
ounce. U.S. gold futures gained 0.21% to $1,876.7 an
ounce.

U.S. Brent crude slipped 16 cents to $42.27 a barrel
while U.S. light crude was down 21 cents at $40.39 on
demand worries.

The U.S. dollar dropped from a two-month high against a
basket of currencies Monday, with the dollar index falling 0.3%,
its biggest daily percentage drop in roughly three weeks.

Bonds were broadly steady. The yield on benchmark 10-year
U.S. government debt fell further to 0.625%.

(Reporting by Kane Wu in Hong Kong, additional reporting by
Pete Schroeder in New York; editing by Richard Pullin and Simon
Cameron-Moore)

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