U.S. FUTURES UP, ASIA STOCKS DIP
US futures climbed and most stocks in Asia dropped Monday, with investors assessing inflation risks as economic activity ramps up. The dollar held onto gains, Andreea Papuc reported for Bloomberg News.
Inflation remains a key concern for investors. The latest US data show fiscal stimulus helped drive the strongest monthly gains in personal incomes in records going back to 1946, and the Federal Reserve’s preferred gauge of prices rose by the most since 2018.
Though last year’s pandemic shock has skewed some data, such readings fuel speculation that central banks may start to withdraw support by trimming asset purchases.
“Interest rates going forward will be led more by expectations on the tapering from the Fed rather than by inflation,” Raffaele Bertoni, head of debt capital markets at Gulf Investment Corp., said on Bloomberg Television. In his latest annual meeting, billionaire Warren Buffett warned of rising price pressures and a “buying frenzy” spurred by low interest rates.
Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan, who’s not currently a voter on the rate-setting committee, said signs of excessive risk-taking suggest it’s time to consider fewer bond purchases. His remarks contrast with those of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell.
S&P 500 futures rose 0.3% as of 10:33 a.m. in Hong Kong. The S&P 500 fell 0.7% Friday. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.1%. South Korea’s Kospi index gained 0.1%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index fell 1.3%.
Markets are also closed in Thailand and Vietnam Monday. The yen was at 109.47 per dollar, down 0.2%. The offshore yuan was at 6.4768 per dollar. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat after climbing 0.7% Friday.
The euro traded at $1.2022. Treasury futures dipped after the 10-year yield held around 1.63% Friday. The cash market is closed in Asia Monday. Australia’s 10-year bond yield was little changed at 1.76%. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.2% to $63.44 a barrel after sliding more than 2% Friday. Gold was at $1,772.76 an ounce.