Monday outlook: Asian shares trade cautiously ahead of central banks meetings, quarterly earnings

Investors await meeting results from the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan later in the week.

  
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reacts to questioning by Rep. Sean Duffy, R-WI, during his testimony before a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress", at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, U.S., July 18, 2018

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reacts to questioning by Rep. Sean Duffy, R-WI, during his testimony before a House Financial Services Committee hearing on the "Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress", at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, U.S., July 18, 2018

Reuters/Mary F. Calvert

Global markets
Asian shares were trading lower early on Monday as traders were cautious ahead of a United States Federal Reserve meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday and anticipation ahead of quarterly earnings due from more than 140 S&P 500 companies, including Apple Inc.

A policy meeting by the Bank of Japan on Tuesday is also closely watched, amid talk it could tweak its massive asset-buying campaign.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.03 percent.

In Friday’s session on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 76.01 points, or 0.3 percent, to 25,451.06, the S&P 500 lost 18.62 points, or 0.66 percent, to 2,818.82 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 114.77 points, or 1.46 percent, to 7,737.42.

Middle East markets
Stock markets in the Middle East were mixed on Sunday.

A retreat in oil prices and global markets on Friday weighed on stocks in the region.

Saudi Arabia’s index dropped 0.7 percent despite the fact that Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) reported an 81 percent year-on-year jump in second-quarter net profit to 6.70 billion riyals ($1.79 billion), beating analysts’ estimates.

Saudi Electricity Co (SEC), the Gulf's largest utility firm, sank by 4.3 percent after reporting a 17.3 percent drop in second-quarter net profit as revenues from electricity services fell and financing costs rose. The results fell short of two analysts' forecasts.

Dubai’s index edged down 0.2 percent, while Emaar Properties, which is expected to report its second-quarter results this week fell 1.7 percent and Dubai Investments closed down 1.5 percent.

Neighbouring Abu Dhabi’s index dropped 0.3 percent. First Abu Dhabi Bank dropped 0.7 percent, continuing a decline from the end of last week after reporting a 19 percent year-on-year gain in quarterly profit.

Qatar’s index added 0.23 percent, with 18 shares adding gains and 24 shares retreating.

In Egypt, the main index finished 1.2 percent higher, with tobacco manufacturer Eastern Co up 5.1 percent. Commercial International Bank was up 0.8 percent.

Oil prices
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) rose early on Monday as data showed that the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly four years in the second quarter.

WTI crude futures were up 22 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $68.91 a barrel by 0058 GMT. WTI fell 1.3 percent on Friday, marking a fourth week of declines.

Brent crude futures fell 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, to 74.18 a barrel, after notching up a 1.7 percent weekly increase last week, the first gain in four weeks.

Currencies
The dollar was mainly unchanged on Monday ahead of the Fed meeting later in the week.

Against a basket of currencies, the greenback was hovering at 94.680 .DXY, having repeatedly failed to clear resistance around 95.652 this month.

Precious metals
Gold prices were little changed in early trading on Monday.

Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,222.68 an ounce at 0107 GMT.

U.S. gold futures were about 0.1 percent lower at $1,222 an ounce.  

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(Writing by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Shane McGinley)
(gerard.aoun@thomsonreuters.com)

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