• By The Financial District


Stocks were flat in early trading in Asia on Thursday as investors kept tapping the brakes on runs in asset prices after taking in tepid US inflation data and comments from the Federal Reserve chief affirming the outlook for a slow recovery, David Henry reported for Reuters on February 11, 2021.

The Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index was last up 0.02% while e-mini futures for the S&P 500 edged up 0.05%. "Some of the steam has run out of the engine over the last couple of trading sessions," said Jarrod Kerr, chief economist at Kiwibank.

"We've had a good run, but the data hasn't kept up," said Kerr, predicting that bond yields and stocks will still end the year higher after a pause in the reflation trade.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasuries slid to 1.135% after rising to 1.176%. On Monday the yield had reached 1.2%, an 11-month high. Major indexes were little changed, though the Dow Jones Industrial Average snared a 0.2% gain to a record close of 31,437.80. The S&P 500 slipped 0.03% and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.25% from a record close the day before.

European shares also closed lower on Wednesday, with pan-European STOXX 600 index finished 0.2% in the red. The dollar index drifted 0.2% lower after the tame U.S. inflation data, posting its third down day on losses against sterling and euro. Cryptocurrency bitcoin was down more than 3% to $45,140.10 at 23:27 GMT.

On Tuesday, bitcoin had hit $48,216 following Tesla's disclosure of a $1.5 billion investment in the virtual currency. US crude fell early on Thursday by 0.36% to $58.47 per barrel and Brent was at $61.10, up 0.02%.