U.S. Markets open in 7 hrs

Asian shares sag, dollar up after upbeat U.S. data

Pedestrians standing in front of an electronic board displaying various stock prices outside a brokerage are reflected in a polished stone surface, in Tokyo October 23, 2013. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

By Lisa Twaronite

TOKYO (Reuters) - Asian shares struggled on Friday, while the dollar pushed higher after upbeat U.S. data added to uncertainty over when the Federal Reserve will begin tapering its massive stimulus programme.

Reassuring signals on China's factory activity capped losses for equities, however.

China's manufacturing sector grew at the fastest pace in 18 months in October, with the official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rising to 51.4 last month from September's 51.1, beating economists' consensus forecast of 51.2.

A separate private report, the final HSBC/Markit PMI, came in at 50.9, up from 50.2 in September and unchanged from a preliminary flash estimate released last week.

"China is on track for a gradual growth recovery," said Hongbin Qu, HSBC's chief economist for China, in a statement accompanying the PMI.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2 percent, while Japan's Nikkei stock average extended losses in the afternoon session, dropping 1.2 percent.

U.S. S&P E-mini futures edged up slightly, after the S&P 500 Index closed down about 0.4 percent but still gained 4.5 percent for the month.

Later on Friday, the U.S. ISM survey of manufacturing for October could offer investors a fresh signal on the Fed's future course.

"If the ISM report is better than expected, it could add to revived tapering expectations, and U.S. yields and the dollar could go up and stocks could go down," said Masashi Murata, senior currency strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman in Tokyo.

Data on Thursday showed the pace of business activity in the U.S. Midwest jumped more than expected in October, soothing some worries about sluggish fourth-quarter growth after last month's federal government shutdown.

A decline in new jobless claims in the latest week also added to evidence that the economy weathered the shutdown. New claims fell by 10,000 to 340,000, just above the average estimate of 339,000.

Still, not all investors or economists were convinced that the latest U.S. data heralded a shift in monetary policy expectations.

"The existence of noise in the October data will likely make it difficult for the Fed to gather enough evidence to start tapering in December," strategists at Barclays wrote in a note to clients, adding that they still to expect the central bank to begin reducing its current $85 billion monthly bond purchases in March 2014.

PRESSURE ON EURO

The euro remained under pressure after plunging in the previous session as euro-zone inflation dropped to its lowest rate in nearly four years, heightening expectations that the European Central Bank will further ease its monetary policy.

The euro dropped about 0.2 percent to $1.3557, moving away from a two-year peak of $1.3833 set one week ago. On Thursday, it suffered its biggest one-day fall against the greenback in six months, tumbling 1.1 percent.

Data on Thursday showed euro-area inflation slowed to a four-year low of 0.7 percent last month, far below the ECB's target of just under 2 percent. Other data showed unemployment held at record highs in September.

The dollar index (.DXY), which measures the greenback against six major currencies, was on track for a sixth session of gains, rising about 0.1 percent to 80.296 after touching a two-week peak of 80.418 and pulling further away from a nine-month trough of 78.998 hit one week ago.

Against the Japanese currency, the dollar was about 0.4 percent lower on the day at 97.94 yen.

In commodities trading, gold steadied but was still trading close to its lowest in nearly two weeks, hurt by sharp losses in the previous session from month-end profit-taking, the strong U.S. economic data and the higher dollar.

Spot gold edged up 0.1 percent to $1,324.86 an ounce, after sliding 1.4 percent on Thursday.

Copper got a lift from the China data, rising 0.1 percent to $7,256 a tonne, moving back toward a one-week peak of $7,300 hit on Thursday.

Brent crude for December was slightly up at $109.05 a barrel, while U.S. crude also edged up to $96.46.

(Additional reporting by Natalie Thomas in Beijing; Editing by Eric Meijer & Kim Coghill)

  • Police Took Suspect's Guns, Dad Gave Them Back: The Latest on the Nashville Waffle House Mass Shooting
    News
    Time

    Police Took Suspect's Guns, Dad Gave Them Back: The Latest on the Nashville Waffle House Mass Shooting

    The suspect in a mass shooting at a Nashville Waffle House was arrested last year for being in a restricted area near the White House, police said Sunday. After an investigation by police in Illinois and the FBI, authorities removed four guns from 29-year-old Travis Reinking’s home and gave them to his father. Reinking is still on the run after a heroic customer at the Waffle House confronted him when he stopped to reload his weapon.

  • At war with Alibaba: Top brands fight China e-commerce giant
    News
    Associated Press

    At war with Alibaba: Top brands fight China e-commerce giant

    The rivalry is so notorious it's been called the "great cat-and-dog war." On one side towers Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., China's e-commerce market leader, embodied by the black cat mascot of its Tmall platform. Brands now caught in the cross-fire say they were punished by Alibaba after refusing exclusive deals as the e-commerce giant tried to muscle out the competition — a charge Alibaba denies. Executives from five major consumer brands told The Associated Press that after rebuffing Alibaba, traffic to their Tmall storefronts fell, hurting sales.

  • The Trump stock market looks a lot like Reagan's, and that may not be a good thing
    Business
    CNBC.com

    The Trump stock market looks a lot like Reagan's, and that may not be a good thing

    Reagan's stock market gives clues for the Dow's next move: Acampora    2:27 PM ET Fri, 20 April 2018 | 01:53 Donald Trump, like Ronald Reagan before him, is an outside-the-beltway president. That recently prompted longtime market watcher Ralph Acampora to investigate whether the two had anything else in common. What he found could be a warning to the stock market. "Ronald Reagan had a six-month honeymoon," Acampora, director of technical research at Altaira Capital Partners, told CNBC's "Futures Now" last week. "The percentage gain was roughly about 10 percent." When Reagan was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 1981, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading at around 950. The index, which at

  • George H.W. Bush Honored His Wife in a Subtle Way at Her Funeral
    News
    Time

    George H.W. Bush Honored His Wife in a Subtle Way at Her Funeral

    Former President George H.W. Bush paid a subtle tribute to his late wife, Barbara Bush, at her funeral on Saturday. The former president wore a pair of socks decorated with stacks of colorful books, in a nod to his partner’s longstanding commitment to advancing literacy. George H.W. Bush wore socks with books on them in dedication to Barbara at her funeral today.

  • N. Korea Concerned Over Excessive China Reliance, Author Chang Says
    World
    Bloomberg Video

    N. Korea Concerned Over Excessive China Reliance, Author Chang Says

    Gordon Chang, Author of "Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World," gives his take on what may happen between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea Leader Kim Jong-Un when they meet. Chang speaks with Kathleen Hays and Yvonne Man on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia." OF THEM WITH GREAT INCENTIVE. YOU CAN ALSO END UP DOING INVESTMENT, ALL SORTS OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, NORTH KOREA IS VERY CONCERNED ABOUT IT RELIANCE ON CHINA.

  • Southwest Cancels 40 Flights as It Works to Inspect Plane Engines After Deadly Explosion
    Business
    Time

    Southwest Cancels 40 Flights as It Works to Inspect Plane Engines After Deadly Explosion

    Southwest Airlines cancelled about 40 flights Sunday as the airline stepped up efforts to inspect the engines of its Boeing 737 fleet on the heels of last week’s deadly engine explosion on Flight 1380. The airline voluntarily announced inspections of engines in the CFM56 family – which powers nearly all of Southwest’s fleet – on Tuesday, after a passenger died when she was partially sucked out of an aircraft window that had been shattered in by the engine blast. Inspectors now believe that the CFM56-7B jet engine failure occurred when one of the engine’s fan blades broke off and came loose.

  • Business
    Oilprice.com

    Saudi Arabia’s $100 Oil Dilemma

    Saudi Arabia is rumored to want oil prices at $100 per barrel, but if prices rise that high, it could sow the seeds of the next downturn. Saudi officials want more revenues for their budget and a higher oil price to bolster the valuation of the Aramco IPO. As Liam Denning of Bloomberg Gadfly points out, in the past decade, while oil prices have surpassed $100 per barrel for periods of time, they didn’t stay there for very long.

  • Here’s what Wells Fargo did to trigger a $1 billion fine
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Here’s what Wells Fargo did to trigger a $1 billion fine

    Unlike many of the scandals that have triggered billion-dollar penalties for banks, the problems that led to a 10-figure federal government settlement for Wells Fargo & Co. don’t appear to have colorful emails or trader messages describing bad behavior. Wells Fargo’s WFC, +1.98%  risk management already resulted in an unprecedented Federal Reserve sanction of having its growth limited. Wells Fargo, keep in mind, was fined by the CFPB and other regulators after opening millions of customer accounts without permission. To hear the OCC tell it, Wells Fargo did not establish “effective first and second lines of defense,” execute on a comprehensive plan to address compliance risk management deficiencies, fill mission-critical staffing positions, implement a reliable risk assessment and testing program and report compliance concerns adequately to the board.

  • Stay Away From All Forms of Romaine Lettuce, CDC Warns
    News
    Fortune

    Stay Away From All Forms of Romaine Lettuce, CDC Warns

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is warning customers to stay away from all forms of romaine lettuce, as the scope of its investigation into an E. coli outbreak grows. The CDC had originally traced the outbreak -- which has sickened at least 53 people across 16 states -- specifically to chopped romaine lettuce grown in the Yuma, Ariz., region. An update issued on Friday, however, says customers should also avoid whole heads and hearts of romaine, in addition to chopped lettuce, unless they can determine that it was not grown in Yuma.

  • 25% of Baby Boomers Plan to Retire Before Age 65. Here's What You Need to Know if You're One of Them
    Business
    Motley Fool

    25% of Baby Boomers Plan to Retire Before Age 65. Here's What You Need to Know if You're One of Them

    In fact, a good 25% of employed baby boomers think they'll retire prior to age 65, according to new data from the Insured Retirement Institute. Your Social Security benefits are calculated based on what you earned during your top 35 working years, but once your full monthly benefit amount is established, you can only collect it in full upon reaching full retirement age. Now you are allowed to file for Social Security as early as age 62.

  • Half of Americans Aren’t Saving for Retirement. Here’s How to Do Better
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Half of Americans Aren’t Saving for Retirement. Here’s How to Do Better

    New data tells us that 49% of Americans actively are saving for retirement -- which means that half the workforce is at risk of retiring broke. Worse yet, only 16% of workers are very confident that they'll have enough in their nest eggs to cover their future expenses. If your retirement savings are non-existent, it's time to play around with your expenses and start cutting corners to free up more cash.

  • The Simple Reason Why Marijuana Stock Valuations Aren't as Sky-High as They Seem
    Business
    Motley Fool

    The Simple Reason Why Marijuana Stock Valuations Aren't as Sky-High as They Seem

    Are marijuana stocks ridiculously overpriced? Of the top three marijuana stocks in terms of market cap, only Aurora Cannabis (NASDAQOTH: ACBFF) reported positive earnings over the last 12 months. Based on these conventional valuation measures, all three of these top marijuana stocks certainly appear to be way overpriced.

  • People Thought Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Were Ridiculously Cute in Matching Outfits for the Queen's Birthday
    News
    Time

    People Thought Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Were Ridiculously Cute in Matching Outfits for the Queen's Birthday

    Prince Harry and bride-to-be Meghan Markle were matching in navy blue at Queen Elizabeth’s star-studded birthday concert Saturday night — and people on social media took notice. Markle wore a navy Stella McCartney caped dress with matching navy suede

  • Philip Morris International (PM) Plunges: Time to Buy the Dip?
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Philip Morris International (PM) Plunges: Time to Buy the Dip?

    Shares of Philip Morris International (NYSE: PM) plunged 16% on April 19, after the tobacco giant posted a mixed first quarter. It also noted that soft demand in Indonesia -- once a major growth market -- offset its growth in Pakistan and Thailand in South Asia.

  • There's More to SunPower's U.S. Expansion Than Meets the Eye
    Business
    Motley Fool

    There's More to SunPower's U.S. Expansion Than Meets the Eye

    For SunPower, the real payoff from this deal won't derive from gaining SolarWorld's manufacturing plant -- the key benefit will come if it wins an exclusion from tariffs for its high-efficiency solar cells and panels, which are made in Asia. SunPower is the only global manufacturer that produces interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar cells at scale, and no U.S. manufacturers use the technology today.

  • Do Pro-Trump or Anti-Trump Books Sell Better? Here's What the Data Shows
    Politics
    Time

    Do Pro-Trump or Anti-Trump Books Sell Better? Here's What the Data Shows

    Donald Trump has made America read again. Since the beginning of the year, every New York Times bestseller has been about the 45th president, according to CNN. To answer that question, we gathered data from the Times nonfiction list of bestsellers on every book explicitly about Trump since his election in 2016.

  • Prestige Economics' Schenker Sees Trade as Big Risk to Growth
    Business
    Bloomberg Video

    Prestige Economics' Schenker Sees Trade as Big Risk to Growth

    Prestige Economics President Jason Schenker discusses U.S. and China trade relations, and talks about the price and production of oil. THERE ARE OTHER RISKS THAT WE ARE SEEING ON THE TABLE IN FEBRUARY, THAT WE SAW A CORRELATED DECLINE IN ASSET VALUE, EQUITIES ON PRICES BOND RISES, OIL PRICES BY CONCERN OF HIGHER INTEREST RATES AND THEN OF COURSE WITH THE ENTRANCE OF MARCH CAME THESE TRADE CONCERNS THAT HAVE ADDED FURTHER DOWNWARD PRESSURES. OPTIMISM THAT WE COULD MOVE TO SOME SORT OF THE TAUNT WOULD BE QUITE POSITIVE DETENTA E WHERE ANY FURTHER SPIN OUT OF CONTROL WITH TRADE WOULD BRING DOWNSIDE RISK TO GROWTH AND EQUITIES, DOWNSIDE TO COMMODITY PRICES.

  • ‘Uncertain’ Crypto Mining Demand Sees Taiwan Chipmaking Giant Lower Revenue Estimates
    Business
    CCN

    ‘Uncertain’ Crypto Mining Demand Sees Taiwan Chipmaking Giant Lower Revenue Estimates

    Uncertainty in the cryptocurrency mining market has led to the world’s leading chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor, to lower its revenue forecast for the year. Adding insult to injury, weakness in demand for Apple’s iPhone, for which Taiwan Semi is the supplier, is also weighing on this year’s expected sales. Meanwhile, bitcoin mining was the champion of 2017, helping to drive Taiwan Semi’s 2017 revenue results higher by 6%, including a 10.1% increase in the fourth quarter alone.

  • Walmart's New Strategy Could Hurt These Popular Stores
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Walmart's New Strategy Could Hurt These Popular Stores

    Over the last two years, it's been clear Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is positioning itself as a competitor to Amazon. After paying $3.3 billion for e-commerce provider Jet.com in 2016, Walmart has increasingly encroached on Amazon's turf by attempting to lure Amazon's core consumer base, move into new industries, and replicate Amazon's disruption-focused mindset. With all the excitement about its digital changes, Walmart's core terrestrial operations may have flown under the radar.

  • Mobius says there’s a 30% correction coming for U.S. stocks
    Business
    MarketWatch

    Mobius says there’s a 30% correction coming for U.S. stocks

    Mark Mobius, the 81-year-old investment guru, believes the U.S. stock market is set for a 30% correction that would essentially wipe out the gains of the last two years. The renowned fund manager, who left Franklin Templeton, the American investment house, after more than 30 years in January, said “all the indicators” point to a large fall in the S&P 500 SPX, -0.85%  and the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.82%  . “I can see a 30% drop,” said Mobius, who launched one of the world’s first emerging market funds. “When consumer confidence is at an all time high, as it is in the U.S., that is not a good sign. “The market looks to me to be waiting for a trigger that will cause it to tumble. You

  • How the new tax law creates a ‘perfect storm’ for Roth IRA conversions
    Business
    MarketWatch

    How the new tax law creates a ‘perfect storm’ for Roth IRA conversions

    For years I’ve lectured about the wonderfulness of Roth IRAs. While the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) includes one negative change for Roth IRAs, they are still pretty wonderful. Here’s what you need to know about Roth IRAs and especially Roth IRA conversions in the post-TCJA world. Roth IRAs have two big tax advantages The two most-important Roth IRA tax advantages are: Tax-Free withdrawals Unlike traditional IRA withdrawals, qualified Roth IRA withdrawals are federal-income-tax-free and usually state-income-tax-free too. What is a qualified withdrawal? It’s one that is taken after you, as the Roth account owner, have met both of the following requirements: 1. You’ve had at least one Roth

  • Netflix, Inc.'s Cash Flow Guidance Is Scary
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Netflix, Inc.'s Cash Flow Guidance Is Scary

    Last Monday, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) released a stellar first quarter earnings report. Netflix even managed to reduce its rate of cash burn last quarter. If that projection is accurate, it's hard to see how Netflix will be able to live up to its valuation of nearly $150 billion.

  • Is Frontier Communications Corporation (FTR) a Buy?
    Business
    Motley Fool

    Is Frontier Communications Corporation (FTR) a Buy?

    Frontier Communications (NASDAQ: FTR) has been in steady decline. It has lost customers in every quarter since it spent $10.55 billion in April of 2016 to buy Verizon's (NYSE: VZ) wireline business in California, Texas, and Florida.

  • Better Buy: CVS Health Corporation vs. Express Scripts
    News
    Motley Fool

    Better Buy: CVS Health Corporation vs. Express Scripts

    There are probably no better examples of this than CVS Health Corporation (NYSE: CVS) and Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX). CVS Health ranks as the largest pharmacy chain and the second-largest PBM in the U.S. In December, the company announced plans to merge with Aetna (NYSE: AET), the No. 3 health insurer in the country. Express Scripts is the biggest PBM.

  • 4 Top Stocks to Buy in April
    Business
    Motley Fool

    4 Top Stocks to Buy in April

    Oil prices are on fire, recently hitting a three-and-a-half-year high. Oil giant ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) stumbled into 2018 after reporting lackluster results to end last year. As a matter of fact, Exxon is currently trading at a valuation not seen since the 1980s.