ASIA STOCKS STEADY, U.S. DOLLAR A TAD HIGHER
Stocks in Asia fluctuated early Monday, May 17, 2021, as spikes in virus cases in parts of the region and lingering inflation concerns weighed on investor sentiment. US futures dipped, Andreea Papuc reported for Bloomberg News.
Shares rose in Australia but slipped in Japan and South Korea as markets responded to the latest curbs on activity to halt the spread of COVID-19. US stocks ended in the green Friday after gathering price pressures pushed equity markets globally to their worst weekly loss since February.
Treasury yields were steady after dropping Friday on a report that showed the recent surge in US retail sales stalled in April.
The dollar edged up against its major peers.
The momentum in commodity markets seems to have flagged after breakneck gains, with copper and iron ore coming off record highs amid efforts by China to clamp down on surging prices.
“Record highs in copper prices and fears overextended oil price gains will be hard to ignore” heading into the second half of the year, wrote Eric Robertsen, global head of research at Standard Chartered.
“The Fed believes this is part of the economic reopening narrative, and for now, it is likely to let the dust settle. But it might start looking over its shoulder if prices stay high.”
S&P 500 futures fell 0.2% as of 9:31 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 rose 1.5%. Nasdaq 100 contracts lost 0.3%. The Nasdaq 100 rose 2.2%. Topix index fell 0.1%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index added 0.4%. South Korea’s Kospi index fell 0.2%.
The yen lost 0.1% to 109.47 per dollar. The offshore yuan was at 6.4453 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1%. The euro was at $1.2136%. The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 1.63%. Australia’s 10-year bond yield fell two basis points to 1.77%. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.2% to $65.27 a barrel, Gold was steady at $1,845.70, Justina Lee reported for Bloomberg News.