Asia shares wallow near one-month lows on inflation anxiety

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian shares languished near one-month lows on Wednesday as investors speculated surging commodity prices and growing inflationary pressure in the United States could lead to earlier rate hikes and higher bond yields globally.

Reuters May 12, 2021 07:05:28 IST
Asia shares wallow near one-month lows on inflation anxiety

Asia shares wallow near onemonth lows on inflation anxiety

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Asian shares languished near one-month lows on Wednesday as investors speculated surging commodity prices and growing inflationary pressure in the United States could lead to earlier rate hikes and higher bond yields globally.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.1%, after tumbling 1.6% on Tuesday for its biggest daily percentage drop since March 24.

"There isn't a clear catalyst behind this purge," said Marios Hadjikyriacos, investment analyst for XM.

"It seems to be a combination of inflation fears making a comeback and some market participants moving higher along the value spectrum, cutting their exposure to anything with a stretched valuation."

At 683.8 points, the regional index is not too far from a record high of 745.89 touched in February and is still up 3% this year so far, on top of a 19% jump in 2020 and a near 16% rise in 2019.

Japan's Nikkei rose 0.6%.

Australia shares skidded 0.4% while South Korea's KOSPI index slipped 0.1%.

Some analysts said the fact the sell-off was largely contained to technology shares suggested that investors were merely moving away from more speculative plays, rather than entirely losing faith in the economic outlook.

"Indeed, this correction could even calm some 'bubble' concerns, considering what is being sold," Hadjikyriacos said.

Analysts, however, doubt the sell-off would extend much further in a world of easy accommodative policy and fiscal largesse.

Overnight on Wall Street, technology stocks were again among the biggest losers though the tech-focused Nasdaq reversed the bulk of its early 2% decline over the course of the day. The Dow dropped 1.4% and the S&P 500 fell 0.9%.

The equity rout barely helped drive any safe haven flows into the greenback, and futures pointed to a mildly positive open for Wall Street. E-mini futures for the S&P 500 nudged 0.1% higher in early Asian trading.

All eyes are now on the U.S. consumer price index report to be released by the U.S. Labor Department on Wednesday with market-based measures of inflation expectations having moved higher.

Treasury yields have remained stuck to a tight range. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasuries edged up to 1.6306%, still a far cry from the 2% level seen in before the coronavirus pandemic. [US/]

The dollar was up 0.1% against the Japanese yen at 108.74 as it meandered in a narrow 107-110 band.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, was little changed at 90.219, after touching a two-month low of 89.979. [USD/]

The currencies of major natural resource suppliers such as Canada stood firm amid rising commodity prices.

The loonie held near a 3-1/2-year high of C$1.2078.

The Australian dollar, another proxy for commodity prices, was not far from a 10-week high of $0.7891 struck on Monday.

Oil prices were lifted by fears of a gasoline shortage after a cyber attack caused an outage at the largest U.S. fuel pipeline system.

U.S. crude gained 35 cents to $65.63 a barrel. Brent crude added 32 cents to $68.87 per barrel. [O/R]

Spot gold was off a shade at $1,836.2 an ounce.

In cryptocurrencies, ether hovered near record highs touched on Monday to be at $4,178.6. The value of the second-biggest digital token has surged over 5.5 times so far this year.

(Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

Alphabet's Waymo partners with Google Maps to offer autonomous rides
Business

Alphabet's Waymo partners with Google Maps to offer autonomous rides

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's self-driving unit Waymo said on Thursday it had partnered with Google's Maps to let users book fully autonomous ride-hailing services through the app.

Tesla revises plans for German gigafactory with more details on product lines
Business

Tesla revises plans for German gigafactory with more details on product lines

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Tesla on Thursday revised its application for a planned gigafactory in Europe to include details for plans to produce battery cells on site and an expansion of other production lines, German officials said. It also includes plans to reduce water consumption so that usage remains constant compared to earlier proposals despite the expansion. Tesla has sharply criticised the lengthy regulatory processes in Germany and has pushed back the factory's opening date.

Facebook ready to commit to clear ad data access for partners, French watchdog says
Business

Facebook ready to commit to clear ad data access for partners, French watchdog says

By Mathieu Rosemain PARIS (Reuters) - U.S. social media giant Facebook has offered to commit to providing its partners with clear and objective conditions of access to advertising inventories and ad campaign data, France's antitrust authority said on Thursday following an investigation.