– A + A (Aug 16): Asian stocks are set for a steady start Monday as investors await key Chinese data to gauge how the delta virus strain is impacting the recovery from the pandemic. Futures fell in Japan and Australia but inched higher in Hong Kong, while U.S. contracts dipped. U.S. stocks eked out another record Friday but a drop in consumer sentiment to a near-decade low injected some caution, pushing down Treasury yields and the dollar. China retail sales and industrial output numbers may show growth slowed in July amid mobility curbs to fight a virus outbreak and flooding. Investors are already unnerved by Beijing's regulatory crackdown on private industries, and speculation is growing that officials could further ease monetary policy. Geopolitical developments dominated over the weekend. In Afghanistan, Taliban leaders marched into Kabul on Sunday, preparing to take full control of the nation two decades after they were removed by the U.S. military. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called an election for Sept. 20, and Malaysia's Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin told his party he plans to resign on Monday. Equities in the U.S. and Europe pushed on to all-time highs last week, bolstered by vaccine rollouts and… Read full this story
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