WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Asian equities were poised for a bouncy session on Thursday after U.S. stocks posted a second consecutive quarter of gains and safe-haven assets, including the dollar, were mixed.
Global investors spent the session digesting the rising number of COVID-19 cases and a chaotic U.S. presidential debate, while taking in better-than-expected U.S. private jobs data on the last day of a volatile quarter.
All three major indexes surged after U.S. House of Representative Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin expressed hope for a breakthrough in partisan stimulus negotiations.
But they pared gains after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell warned the sides remain “far apart” in their talks.
“Between the U.S. presidential elections in a little over a month, uneven economic data and uncertainty over the COVID-19 impact … we may just see a drift in equity market pricing into Nov. 3,” said Peter Kenny, founder of Kenny’s Commentary LLC and Strategic Board Solutions LLC in New York.
“Markets exhibited heightened volatility in Q3 – largely as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. There was also uneven economic reports and data that fueled a degree of risk-off as we head into quarter end, much of which is offset today by window dressing.”
Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures YAPcm1 were up 0.19%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures NKc1 were up 0.32%.
The Nikkei 225 index .N225 closed down 1.5% at 23,185.12 on Wednesday. The futures contract is up 0.84% from that close.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures .HSI.HSIc1 were up 1.38%.
Market participants were also digesting Tuesday’s contentious U.S. presidential