ASIA STOCKS SET FOR VOLATILE OPEN AFTER TECH SLIDE
Asian stocks were set for a volatile open Wednesday after a selloff in technology shares, amid comments from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on interest rates that rattled markets. The dollar rose, Andreea Papuc and Rita Nazareth reported for Bloomberg News on May 5, 2021.
Nasdaq 100 contracts retreated after weakness in megacaps such as Apple Inc., Tesla Inc., and Amazon.com Inc. dragged the index lower. The S&P 500 pared losses with gains in the commodity, financial and industrial sectors. Australian and Hong Kong futures declined.
Holidays in major markets including Japan, China, and South Korea will limit trade in Asian hours. Commodities rallied to the highest in almost a decade as a rebound in the world’s largest economies stokes demand for metals, food, and energy. Treasuries were little changed.
Yellen said rates will likely rise as government spending ramps up and the economy responds with faster growth, comments that economists regarded as self-evident. In a subsequent interview, the former Federal Reserve Chair said she wasn’t predicting or recommending rate hikes.
S&P 500 futures fell less than 0.1% as of 6:11 a.m. in Hong Kong. The S&P 500 lost 0.7%. Nasdaq 100 contracts dipped 0.2% after the index fell 1.9%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures dropped 0.4%. Hang Seng Index futures declined 1.1% earlier. The Japanese yen traded at 109.30 per dollar.
The offshore yuan was at 6.4840 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.3%. The euro traded at $1.2013. The yield on 10-year Treasuries was steady at 1.59%. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.8% to $66.23 a barrel. Gold was at $1,778.07 an ounce.