Asia stocks set for mixed open; crude oil drops

Pedestrians walk pass past an electronic stock board outside a securities firm in Tokyo. (Bloomberg pic)

SYDNEY: Asian stocks are poised for a mixed open as early gains on Wall Street faded after a rush of trade optimism. Bond yields rose and oil retreated.

Japanese equity-index futures were little changed, while contracts were lower in Australia and advanced in Hong Kong.

The S&P 500 Index still closed at the highest in almost four months despite paring its earlier advance as US President Donald Trump raised the possibility of signing a new trade deal with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping after extending a tariff deadline.

Trump reined in optimism noting that a deal “might not happen at all.”

Traders will be looking for any signs that the progress on trade expressed by the worlds two biggest economies is warranted enough to build on a global rally in equities that has been tested by protectionism and forecasts of slowing global economic growth.

Also in focus will be a hearing from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, where investors will get the latest read on monetary policy.

Elsewhere, crude oil fell after Trump said in a tweet that prices were too high, while copper held on to gains over Chinese optimism.

The pound extended gains as Theresa May is considering a plan to delay Brexit and stop the UK from leaving the European Union with no deal next month, according to people familiar with the situation.