Asian stocks trade mixed; treasury yields steady

Stocks pared gains in Japan, fell in Australia and fluctuated in Hong Kong and South Korea. — Reuters pic

SYDNEY, June 5 — Asian stocks struggled for traction today after pacing a global rally as investors set aside protectionist fears in favour of optimism over the US economy. Ten-year Treasuries edged higher after fourth consecutive sessions of declines.

Stocks pared gains in Japan, fell in Australia and fluctuated in Hong Kong and South Korea. Earlier, the S&P 500 Index closed at its strongest since mid-March and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose to a record high helped by Microsoft Corp agreeing to buy coding site GitHub for US$7.5 billion (RM29.8 billion). US equity futures were little changed today. The dollar steadied against major peers.

Investors are renewing their focus on the US, after jobs figures Friday underscored the resilience of the world’s largest economy.

Coupled with easing fears of a euro-zone crisis, it pushed to the background concerns about trade that flared up again over the weekend. Still, trade tensions are likely to return to the fore again this week.

Group of Seven leaders meet in Quebec Friday, with the European Union and Canada threatening retaliatory measures unless President Donald Trump reverses course on new steel and aluminum levies.

Elsewhere, West Texas Intermediate crude pared losses to trade around US$65 a barrel after an Opec committee stressed the need to ensure supplies can meet growing demand, adding to speculation the group will phase out its production cuts.

These are some key events to watch this week:

Reserve Bank of Australia monetary policy decision is out today. Tesla holds its annual shareholder meeting also Tuesday. US ISM non-manufacturing index out today.

Growth at US service industries probably improved in May for the first time in four months, indicating the economy is strengthening

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