ASIA STOCKS STEADY; U.S. DOLLAR PICKS UP
Asian stocks were steady Monday after a third straight weekly Wall Street advance, with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell flagging the prospect of stronger growth and hiring. The dollar ticked up, Emily Barrett reported for Bloomberg News.
Shares fluctuated in China and Hong Kong, with Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. rallying after the weekend imposition of a record antitrust fine removed a key source of uncertainty. Markets were little changed in Japan and slightly lower in Australia.
US equity futures dipped after the S&P 500 Index closed above 4,100 as investors braced for earnings reports this week. The yield on 10-year Treasuries held Friday’s advance on stronger-than-expected producer-price inflation data and ahead of a heavy week of supply.
While the economic recovery from the pandemic is picking up speed, policymakers are highlighting the need for more progress before they consider withdrawing exceptional support. Traders are watching price pressures, with market-based expectations at multiyear highs. US consumer-price data are due this week.
The US economy is at an “inflection point” with stronger growth and hiring ahead thanks to rising vaccinations and powerful policy support, Powell told CBS’s 60 Minutes in an interview aired Sunday. He warned that a resurgence of Covid-19 remains the principal risk to the economy.
“The Fed is going to be more concerned about the labor market,” Sian Fenner, senior economist at Oxford Economics, told Bloomberg News. “Inflation’s not spiraling out of control.”
These are some of the main moves in financial markets: S&P 500 futures dipped 0.2% as of 10:42 a.m. in Tokyo. The index rose 0.8% on Friday. Japan’s Topix Index was flat. China’s Shanghai Composite was up 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng slipped 0.2%. South Korea’s Kospi climbed 0.2%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.3%.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index edged up 0.1%. The yen was steady at 109.70 per dollar. The euro was at $1.1898. The offshore yuan was at 6.5629 per dollar. The yield on 10-year Treasuries steadied at 1.66%. Australia’s 10-year yield climbed two basis points to 1.77%. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 0.5% at $59.60 a barrel. Gold was down 0.2% at $1,741.10 an ounce, Ishika Mookerjee reported for Bloomberg News.