Most Asian stocks slipped Tuesday along with U.S. and European equity futures as investors weighed the impact of the recent climb in bond yields and a Chinese official’s warning about asset bubbles. The dollar rose.
Shares in China and Hong Kong led the regional decline. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures turned lower. China is “very worried” about bubbles in overseas financial markets, China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission Chairman Guo Shuqing said at a briefing. Treasury yields were steady.
Guo also said he’s worried about risks in China’s property sector, sparking fresh concerns about further tightening in the world’s second-biggest economy.
Oil retreated to trade just below $60 a barrel ahead of a key OPEC+ meeting this week. Metals including copper, silver and gold slid. In Australia, bond yields rose after the central bank left its asset purchase plan unchanged.
Investors continue to debate whether many markets are over-extended following huge stimulus injections to counter the impact of the pandemic. The prospect of faster inflation as the world economy recovers has led to concerns that monetary policy may have to be tightened sooner than expected. That’s pushed up sovereign bond yields this year.
“There’s lot of uncertainty, a lot of risks being built in, that’s why you’re seeing a bit of skittishness,” said Lorraine Tan, Morningstar director of Asia equity research. “The positive tailwind for the market is still going to be the global economic recovery.”
On the virus front, global cases rose for the first time in almost two months in the past week, the World Health Organization said, citing countries easing restrictions, people letting their guard down and variants spreading.
Bitcoin rallied after a volatile weekend session as Citigroup Inc. laid out a case for the digital asset to play a bigger role in the global financial system.
There are some key events to watch this week:
- U.S. Federal Reserve Beige Book is due Wednesday.
- OPEC+ meeting on output Thursday.
- U.S. factory orders, initial jobless claims and durable goods orders are due Thursday.
- The February U.S. employment report on Friday will provide an update on the speed and direction of the nation’s labor market recovery.
These are some of the main moves in markets:
- S&P 500 futures fell 0.4% as of 5:45 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 Index surged 2.4%.
- Japan’s Topix index was down 0.6%.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.4%.
- South Korea’s Kospi index rose 0.7%.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.2%.
- Shanghai Composite Index fell 1.4%.
- Euro Stoxx 50 futures lost 0.3%.
- The yen traded at 106.85 per dollar.
- The offshore yuan was at 6.4814 per dollar, down 0.2%.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.2%.
- The euro was at $1.2020, down 0.2%.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 1.41%.
- Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose five basis points to 1.72%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude declined 1.4% to $59.77 a barrel.
- Gold dipped 0.7% to $1,713 an ounce.
— With assistance by Rita Nazareth, Vildana Hajric, and Mark Cranfield