Most Asian stocks fell Wednesday and Treasuries held a rally on concerns about the economic recovery from the pandemic, virus variants and China’s scrutiny of the technology sector. US equity contracts fluctuated.
Japanese stocks slid but Australian shares weathered an extension to Sydney’s Covid-19 lockdown. Chinese tech firms retreated in Hong Kong as Beijing’s cybersecurity probe of ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc., and vow to tighten scrutiny of data security and overseas listings, hurt sentiment. The S&P 500 dipped and the Nasdaq 100 reached a record overnight. European futures rose.
Ten-year Treasury yields hit February lows in US hours in part on slower-than-expected service-sector growth, with short covering exacerbating the move. Australian and New Zealand bonds rallied. The dollar retained a climb.
Oil steadied after dropping toward $73 a barrel in the fallout from the OPEC+ crisis, which has stymied efforts to raise production and buffeted prices.
While global stocks remain near all-time highs, inflationary pressures, reduced central bank stimulus and the spread of the Covid-19 delta strain are potential risks. Traders are looking ahead to the Federal Reserve minutes Wednesday for more clues on when the US central bank may begin tapering the substantial asset purchases that have bolstered financial markets.
“Recent weeks have seen the global recovery motor along as expected, supported by the vaccine rollouts and a further easing of restrictions,” Deutsche Bank AG Chief Economist David Folkerts-Landau and strategists including Marion Laboure wrote in a report. But since May “the balance of risks is slightly more negative given the continued global reach of the delta variant and the reaction to the FOMC,” the report added.
The spotlight is also on vaccine campaigns and whether they will obviate virus-related curbs. In the UK, the government is lifting restrictions but officials have warned pandemic measures may need to be reimposed if infections surge.
Here are some events to watch this week:
- FOMC minutes Wednesday
- The Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers meet in Venice on Friday
- China PPI and CPI data released on Friday
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- S&P 500 futures were little changed as of 7:20 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 fell 0.2%
- Nasdaq 100 futures rose 0.1%. The Nasdaq 100 rose 0.4%
- Japan’s Topix index slid 0.9%
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.9%
- South Korea’s Kospi index shed 0.6%
- China’s Shanghai Composite index pushed 0.7% higher
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.9%
- Euro Stoxx 50 futures increased 0.3%
- The Japanese yen traded at 110.68 per dollar
- The offshore yuan was at 6.4715 per dollar, up 0.1%
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady after rising 0.4%
- The euro traded at $1.1828
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 1.36%, up about one basis point
- Australia’s 10-year bond yield slid eight basis points to 1.39%
- West Texas Intermediate crude was at $73.76 a barrel
- Gold was at $1 801.06 an ounce, up 0.2%