Asian Stocks Open Mixed; Treasuries, Dollar Steady: Markets Wrap




  • In Business
  • 2021-03-03 00:30:31Z
  • By Bloomberg
 

(Bloomberg) -- Asian stocks opened mixed Wednesday after U.S. peers retreated on concerns about excessive investor optimism. Treasuries held gains.

Shares rose in Japan and Australia but fluctuated in South Korea. S&P 500 futures edged up after technology shares led losses in the benchmark on Tuesday. The Nasdaq 100 was dragged down by Apple Inc. and Tesla Inc., which tumbled more than 4%.

Earlier, benchmark Treasury yields dipped amid comments from Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard that bond-market volatility may further delay a pullback in the central bank's massive asset purchases. U.S. inflation-adjusted yields retreated.

Investors are focusing closely on valuations amid concerns about excessive optimism in markets. China's top banking regulator warned Tuesday about the need to reduce leverage as well as the risk of bubbles in global markets. Bullishness among Wall Street strategists is approaching levels that have presaged potential trouble for stocks, according to a Bank of America gauge.

"We believe we're still very much in a bull market, but certain pullbacks like the one we've seen since the beginning of this year are very natural and sometimes needed," Katerina Simonetti, Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management senior vice president, told Bloomberg TV. "If interest rates start moving higher and quicker than expected, then there's a chance there might be more significant pullback in the market."

Elsewhere, oil extended losses below $60 a barrel with the OPEC+ alliance said to be set to agree to a production increase later this week. Bitcoin fluctuated below $50,000.

There are some key events to watch this week:

U.S. Federal Reserve Beige Book is due Wednesday.OPEC+ meeting on output Thursday.U.S. factory orders, initial jobless claims and durable goods orders are due Thursday.The February U.S. employment report on Friday will provide an update on the speed and direction of the nation's labor market recovery.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

S&P 500 futures rose 0.3% as of 9:27 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 fell 0.8%.Japan's Topix index added 0.3%.Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5%.South Korea's Kospi index was little changed.Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index futures gained 0.5% earlier.

Currencies

The yen was little changed at 106.74 per dollar.The offshore yuan traded at 6.4732 per dollar.The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was flat.The euro was at $1.2087.

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries held at about 1.40%.Australia's 10-year bond yield fell three basis points to 1.69%.

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.6% to $59.41 a barrel.Gold was steady at about $1,736 an ounce.

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