By Stanley White and Pete Schroeder

TOKYO/WASHINGTON, Oct 2 (Reuters)Asian markets were little changed on Friday, as a U.S. stimulus deal remained out of reach and investors waited on fresh U.S. employment data for a read on the economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down 0.11%. Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO fell 0.86% as a decline in oil and copper prices weighed on the resources sector.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index .N225 was up 0.19% after the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) resumed normal trading after its worst-ever outage brought the world’s third-largest equity market to a standstill.

U.S. stock futures ESc1 fell 0.23% as an additional economic stimulus package remained elusive despite renewed efforts from Washington negotiators.

After a day of negotiations, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she did not expect an imminent agreement with the Trump administration. It remains unclear if policymakers can get something done before the Nov. 3 election.

“The risk is that if disposable incomes continue to fall, the recovery in personal spending will slow or even reverse. The fiscal stimulus stalemate suggests additional government support payments to households are unlikely soon,” said Commonwealth Bank of Australia currency analyst Kim Mundy in a note.

China’s stock and bond markets, foreign exchange and commodity futures markets are closed Oct. 1-8 for the Golden Week holiday. South Korea and Hong Kong markets are also closed on Friday for holidays.

U.S. markets kicked off the fourth quarter by closing higher while the dollar sank, with investors tracking stimulus talk updates throughout the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.13% on Thursday. The S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.53% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 1.42%.

U.S. consumer spending is starting to slow due to

Asian shares were mixed Friday in thin holiday trading, with markets in South Korea, Shanghai and Hong Kong closed.

The Nikkei 225 index shed strong early gains to edge 0.1% higher, to 23,211.35, as the Tokyo Stock Exchange resumed trading after an all day outage Thursday due to a technical failure.

Reports that the Japanese government is preparing new stimulus measures to help the economy recover from a prolonged downturn worsened by the coronavirus pandemic provided only a temporary lift.

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.8% to 5,85.80 after the release of discouraging retail sales data. Shares in Singapore and Indonesia also fell.


On Wall Street, stocks closed higher after pinballing through another shaky day of trading, as investors wait to see if Washington can get past its partisanship to deliver another economic rescue package.

The S&P 500 ended the day 0.5% higher, at 3,380.80, but it careened from an early 1% gain to a slight loss before arriving there.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 27,816.90 after earlier bouncing between a gain of 259 points and a loss of 112. The Nasdaq composite rose 1.4%, to 11,326.51 as big tech-oriented stocks propped up the market, much as they have through the pandemic.

Such big swings have become typical recently, as investors handicap the chances of a deal on Capitol Hill to send more cash to Americans, restore jobless benefits for laid-off workers and deliver assistance to airlines and other industries hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin continued their talks on Thursday, but no breakthrough arrived before stock trading ended on Wall Street. Instead, there were only hopes that were periodically raised and dashed as government officials took turns criticizing each other.

“Things remain fluid; we all know what

By Pete Schroeder

WASHINGTON, Oct 2 (Reuters)Asian markets were little changed on Friday, as a U.S. stimulus deal remained out of reach and investors waited on fresh U.S. employment data for a read on the economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. markets kicked off the fourth quarter closing higher on Thursday while the dollar sank, as investors tracked stimulus talk updates throughout the day. The September employment report from the Labor Department looms large, following new layoff announcements from the likes of Disney DIS.N and Goldman Sachs GS.N.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 index .N225 was up 0.35% after the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE) resumed normal trading after its worst-ever outage brought the world’s third-largest equity market to a standstill.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down 0.1%, while Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO slipped 0.7%.

In the United States, an additional economic stimulus package remained elusive despite renewed efforts from Washington negotiators.

After a day of negotiations, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she did not expect an imminent agreement with the Trump administration. It remains unclear if policymakers can get something done before the Nov. 3 election.

New data showed U.S. consumer spending was still up in August, but its momentum was slowing as increased unemployment benefits began to dry up. If policymakers cannot agree on more support, the economic toll could worsen.

“The risk is that if disposable incomes continue to fall, the recovery in personal spending will slow or even reverse. The fiscal stimulus stalemate suggests additional government support payments to households are unlikely soon,” said Commonwealth Bank of Australia currency analyst Kim Mundy in a note.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.13%. The S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.53% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 1.42%.

Stocks rose Thursday in a mixed market from a risk sentiment perspective. Economic momentum is on investors’ side, while election volatility is keeping interest in stocks at bay.

The S&P 500 rose 0.53%, partially powered by the gain on the tech components of the Nasdaq, which rose 1.42%. The 10-Year treasury yield was flat at 0.68%, after having risen. Inflation expectations of late have improved somewhat. That favors cyclical stocks, many of which are capture in the Vanguard S&P 500 Value ETF  (VOOV) – Get Report, which is up more than 3% in the past few days, after participating in September’s broad market sell-off.

On tech, FAANG earnings growth for the near-term is still premium compared to value stocks and if investors are willing to pay current multiples, these stocks can still outperform at least in the near-term and bring major indices higher with their outsized market caps.

Jobless claims came in at 737,000 for the past week, a meaningful drop-off from last week’s report of 773,000. This, coupled with other solid economic data points of late, points towards the continuation of the V-shaped economic and earnings recovery. Large cap consumer discretionary stocks rose, but other cyclical sectors like oil manufacturing were flat-to-down. Banks rose a few tenths of a percentage point. The yield curve is not expanding and loan demand has been weak of late, but banks are reducing their customer deposit rates as interest income is pressured, thereby upholding profitability.

Many on What Street say election risks are getting in the way of stock price momentum. Sure, corporate and individual taxes may rise with a Biden Presidency, but many are digesting that, absent a strong majority of Democrats in Congress rather than a slim one, policy changes cannot be so drastic, though they may be

By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mixed in muted trading Monday, ahead of the first U.S. presidential debate and a national holiday in China later in the week.

Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.3% in afternoon trading to 23,511.62, while South Korea’s Kospi added 1.4% to 2,310.85. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost earlier gains to slip 0.2% to 5,952.30. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.8% to 23,429.81, while the Shanghai Composite index inched less than 0.1% lower to 3,216.46.

China is celebrating its National Day and Mid-Autumn festival on Oct. 1, followed by a weeklong holiday through Oct. 8.

China’s statistical bureau reported Sunday that industrial profits rose 19% in August from a year earlier, as the economy recovered from the pandemic downturn.

Regional markets are seeing signs of improvement in economic activity despite the coronavirus pandemic, as businesses strive to achieve a new normal with social distancing and mask-wearing.

Investors are hoping for additional fiscal stimulus measures from the U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said she hopes to find common ground for agreement with Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin after the $2.4 trillion package under discussion failed to bridge the divide.

The chamber passed a $3.4 trillion rescue measure in May. Democrats cut their ambitions back by $1 trillion or so, while Senate Republicans have focused on a much smaller package in the $650 billion to $1 trillion range.

Bridging the overall topline gulf would be tough. Working out hundreds of legislative details just before the November election, amid a feud over filling Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court could be impossible. But there is pressure on both sides to do something to help the economy and the tens of millions of voters left unemployed thanks to the pandemic.

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