Asia Shares Slip; Tech Stocks Lift U.S. Indexes: Markets Wrap




  • In Business
  • 2021-01-22 00:10:26Z
  • By Bloomberg
 

(Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks pulled back from an all-time high in early Friday trading as investors assessed earnings, prospects for stimulus and escalating coronavirus cases. The dollar was on course to decline for its first week in three.

Shares dipped in Australia and Japan, while those in South Korea gave up initial gains. S&P 500 futures were steady after the index eked out another record high Thursday as tech shares advanced. President Joe Biden's push for nearly $2 trillion in additional spending and an intensified federal response to the pandemic have boosted risk appetite. Benchmark Treasuries were flat.

Global equities remain at a record with valuations elevated as earnings continue to roll in. Intel Corp. reported fourth-quarter revenue that topped expectations. Investors continue to bet on another stimulus package from Biden to counter the economic impact of rising Covid-19 cases.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde warned the virus continues to pose a serious risk after policy makers voted to keep pumping unprecedented amounts of stimulus into the economy. U.S. infectious-disease chief Anthony Fauci said the seven-day average of new infections in the U.S. suggests the virus "might actually be plateauing."

"While the recent rally clearly suggests that some of this recovery is already priced in, we see plenty of scope for investment flows to rotate from cash and other assets toward equities, once the recovery becomes more visible," said Paul O'Connor, head of multi-asset at Janus Henderson Investors.

Biden unveiled a national strategy to combat the coronavirus but warned that another 100,000 lives could be lost over roughly the next month. Germany's coronavirus fatalities passed 50,000 while the U.K. suffered its worst day in the pandemic.

These are the main moves in markets:

Stocks

S&P 500 futures were little changed as of 9:02 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge closed little changed on Thursday.Japan's Topix index slipped 0.6%.South Korea's Kospi added 0.1%.Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index dropped 0.1%.

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.The yen was at 103.52 per dollar.The offshore yuan was at 6.4684 per dollar.The euro bought $1.2168.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at 1.11%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude was at $53.01 a barrel, down 0.2%.Gold held at $1,869.69 an ounce.

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