Stocks Fall, Treasuries Hold Rally on Growth Worry: Markets Wrap
Most Asian stocks fell Wednesday and Treasuries held an advance on concerns about the economic recovery from the pandemic, virus variants and China’s scrutiny of the technology sector.
Japan led regional shares lower amid a climb in the yen on demand for havens. Chinese tech firms retreated in Hong Kong as Beijing’s cybersecurity probe of ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc., and vow to tighten oversight of data security and overseas listings, hurt sentiment. U.S. contracts fluctuated after the S&P 500 dipped and the Nasdaq 100 reached a record. European futures edged up.
Ten-year U.S. Treasury yields hit February lows overnight amid 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 U.S. 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,” according to a report by Deutsche Bank AG Chief Economist David Folkerts-Landau and strategists including Marion Laboure. 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 U.K., the government is lifting restrictions but officials have warned pandemic measures may need to be reimposed if infections surge. Australia’s share market rose, weathering an extension to Sydney’s lockdown.