Stocks, equity futures edge up; bonds trim gain: markets wrap

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Most Asian stocks rose with US and European equity futures Wednesday, while Treasuries trimmed a rally spurred by Federal Reserve officials again predicting transitory price pressures.

MSCI Inc.’s Asia-Pacific share gauge climbed a fifth day, aided by gains in Hong Kong and China, where the onshore yuan hit a three-year high. The S&P 500 fell overnight amid softer new home sales and consumer confidence data.

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Treasury yields are below this year’s highs as more Fed officials join a chorus downplaying price pressures. Oil was steady and gold erased 2021 losses. Bitcoin was near $40 000 in a partial recovery from last week’s crypto rout.

New Zealand’s dollar jumped more than 1% after the central bank projected interest rates may rise in the second half of next year if the economy continues to recover from the pandemic.

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Signs of quickening inflation are giving investors pause for thought as they consider the outlook for the exceptional stimulus buoying markets. Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida said price pressures in the US would largely be transitory. He added officials may be ready to begin discussing how to taper asset purchases “in upcoming meetings,” echoing recent Fed minutes.

“What we keep hearing from the Fed is that they’re going to take a very different approach to inflation this time around,” Kristina Hooper, Invesco chief global market strategist, said on Bloomberg TV. “The Fed is likely to let the punchbowl stay out a lot longer. The big fear about inflation is that the Fed would act.”

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Here are some events this week:

  • CEOs of the largest US banks, including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, will testify before lawmakers in the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees Wednesday.
  • US initial jobless claims, GDP, durable goods, pending home sales on Thursday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% as of 7:16 a.m. in London. The gauge fell 0.2%.
  • Nasdaq 100 contracts climbed 0.3%. The index added 0.1%.
  • Japan’s Topix index added 0.1%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index dipped 0.3%
  • South Korea’s Kospi index shed 0.1%
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.8%
  • China’s Shanghai Composite Index increased 0.3%
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.3%

Currencies

  • The yen was at 108.82 per dollar
  • The offshore yuan traded at 6.3878 per dollar, up 0.4%
  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index dipped 0.1%
  • The euro was at $1.2246

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose about two basis points to 1.58%

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude was at $66.03 a barrel
  • Gold added 0.1% to $1 901.64 an ounce

© 2021 Bloomberg

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