Stocks

Asian shares at one-month lows as sell-off extends

Reuters SYDNEY | Updated on May 12, 2021

Growing inflation worries exert pressure on Asian equities

Asian shares fell for a second straight session on Wednesday to one-month lows as investors speculated surging commodity prices and growing inflationary pressure in the United States could lead to earlier rate hikes and higher bond yields globally.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan faltered 0.5%, after tumbling 1.6% on Tuesday for its biggest daily percentage drop since March 24.

Wall Street closes lower as inflation jitters spark broad sell-off

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Shares in China opened in the red, with the blue-chip index off 0.2%.

Australian stocks slipped 0.6% while South Korea's KOSPI index skidded 0.7%. Japan's Nikkei reversed early gains to be down 0.4%.

Analysts, however, doubted the sell-off would extend much further in a world of easy accommodative policy and fiscal largesse.

All eyes are now on the US consumer price index report to be released by the US Labour Department on Wednesday with market-based measures of inflation expectations having moved higher .

Treasury yields have remained stuck to a tight range. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasuries edged lower to1.6235%, a far cry from the 2% level seen in before thecoronavirus pandemic.

The US Federal Reserve expects higher inflation though officials have pointed to transient factors and base effect for the temporary rise.

The dollar was up 0.2% against the Japanese yen at108.84 as it meandered in a narrow 107-110 band.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, was little changed at 90.297,after touching a two-month low of 89.979.

Published on May 12, 2021

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