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Stocks, futures slip on stimulus timing; dollar up: markets wrap

Treasuries held an overnight climb and crude oil fluctuated under $53 a barrel.
Image: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg

Stocks fell along with US and European futures Tuesday on concern over the timeline for President Joe Biden’s fiscal-relief plan and amid warnings about potential asset bubbles. The dollar extended an advance.

A gauge of Asia-Pacific equities slid the most in about two months. Hong Kong underperformed, dragged lower by a slump in Tencent Holdings Ltd. after the Internet giant’s market value rose to the cusp of $1 trillion for the first time Monday. In China, shares dropped after the central bank withdrew cash from the banking system and an official cautioned about asset bubbles.

S&P 500 futures slipped in the wake of comments from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that an aid package is unlikely before mid-March. Nasdaq 100 contracts pointed lower ahead of earnings from some of the biggest tech firms. Treasuries held an overnight climb and crude oil fluctuated under $53 a barrel.

Global stocks have retreated from a record as investors look for fresh catalysts to push them higher or at least justify current valuations. That could come from a slate of earnings reports due this week. Meanwhile, the possibility that a US fiscal-relief package might be delayed is undercutting a key reason why Treasury yields climbed earlier this year.

“If financial markets needed any further confirmation that the US fiscal stimulus was the only game in town, the buy-everything herd received it overnight,” Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda Asia Pacific Pte., wrote in a note. Disquiet from Senate Republicans over the size of the planned package “was enough to knock equities off their intraday highs,” send bond yields lower and spur demand for the dollar, he said.

President Joe Biden said he’s open to negotiation on his $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief proposal, and is hopeful to bring Republicans behind it, though didn’t rule out pursuing a Democrat-only route. Schumer said earlier Monday he aims to secure passage of the next round of relief by mid-March, just when jobless benefits from the last package will be running out.

On the pandemic front, vaccine coverage won’t reach a point that would stop transmission of the virus in the foreseeable future, the World Health Organisation. US infectious-disease chief Anthony Fauci said he’s worried about delays to second doses.

These are some key events coming up in the week ahead:

  • Microsoft, Apple, Tesla, Facebook and Samsung Electronics Co. are among companies reporting results.
  • Data on US home prices and consumer confidence come Tuesday.
  • The Federal Open Market Committee monetary policy decision and briefing by Chair Jerome Powell are scheduled for Wednesday.
  • Fourth-quarter GDP, initial jobless claims and new home sales are among US data releases Thursday.
  • US personal income, spending and pending home sales come Friday.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 futures fell 0.6% as of 7:12 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 Index rose 0.4%.
  • Japan’s Topix Index fell 0.8%.
  • South Korea’s Kospi Index shed 2.1%.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index tumbled 2.4%.
  • Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.5%.
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures dipped 0.2%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index added 0.2%.
  • The euro dipped 0.1% to $1.2127.
  • The British pound was down 0.3% at $1.3641.
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 103.74 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan steady at 6.4866 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 1.03%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.5% to $52.50 a barrel.
  • Gold was steady at $1,855 an ounce.
© 2021 Bloomberg

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This time the Biden administration wont allow stimulus to go into the stock market… they fully aware of asset bubbles.

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