US stock futures decline in holiday-hit trading

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TOKYO (April 22): US equity-index futures dropped on Monday while stocks in Asia were mixed as the Easter holiday weekend continued in many countries. Oil jumped on a report America scrapped waivers allowing the import of some Iranian crude.

Contracts on the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial and Nasdaq indexes all pointed to declines at the open. In Asia, Chinese stocks and bonds fell as investors wagered future stimulus will be limited, while shares in Japan and Korea swung between gains and losses. The dollar held steady alongside Treasuries. Most markets across Europe remained closed.

With corporate reporting season in full flow, investors are looking for clues as to whether the dovish policy pivot from the world’s central banks can shore up global growth enough to overlook a potential contraction in earnings. The stock market appears to be saying yes for now, with an MSCI gauge of global equities on track for a fourth month of gains.

Traders have a week full of company earnings releases to look forward to, including from major technology firms. They’ll also be focused on the US economy, with first-quarter gross domestic product data due Friday.

Elsewhere, iron ore climbed, and West Texas oil rose to the highest in almost six months.

Here are some notable events coming up:

  • A Who’s Who of the tech world reports this week, with Amazon, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft among the heavy hitters on tap.
  • European bank earnings kick into full gear with reports from Deutsche Bank, UBS, Barclays, Credit Suisse and Swedbank.
  • The Bank of Japan, Bank of Canada, Bank of Russia, Sweden’s Riksbank and Bank of Indonesia set monetary policy.
  • Germany’s IFO data is released Wednesday.
  • Japan’s Shinzo Abe meets leaders of the European Union Thursday before flying to the US for a summit with President Donald Trump.
  • The initial print on first-quarter US GDP Friday will be closely watched for clues as to how the economy responded to the government shutdown and fallout from to the fourth-quarter market rout.

These are the main market moves:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 Index fell 0.3% as of 9:07am in London.
  • The MSCI Asia Pacific Index fell 0.1%.
  • The MSCI Emerging Market Index fell 0.2%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi index rose less than 0.05%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose less than 0.05%.
  • The euro rose less than 0.05%.
  • The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency Index fell 0.1%.
  • The South Korean Won fell 0.4%.

Bonds

  • The yield on two-year Treasuries fell less than one basis point to 2.38%.
  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 2.57%.
  • Japan’s 10-year yield fell less than one basis point to -0.031%.

Commodities

  • Gold rose 0.3% to US$1,278.74 an ounce, the biggest advance in more than a week.
  • West Texas Intermediate crude increased 2.3% to US$65.47 a barrel on the largest climb in more than two weeks.
  • LME copper decreased 1.2% to US$6,476.00 per metric ton on the biggest dip in almost four weeks.
  • Iron ore gained 2.2%, the largest rise in more than a week.