Par Andrew Galbraith
SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Asian stocks stumbled on Wednesday, relinquishing their early gains, as the dollar was firm as investors feared a rapidly spreading coronavirus variant could hamper the global economic recovery.
But European stock markets were pegged for a slightly higher open after steep drops earlier in the week, ahead of a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday that is expected to convey a conciliatory tone.
increased by 0.16% and German by 0.07%. futures added 0.08%.
The Delta coronavirus variant has so far displaced inflation as the main concern for investors, with South Korea reporting a daily record for new infections on Wednesday.
Last week, data showing a surge in consumer prices in the United States in June raised concerns that the Federal Reserve could end emergency stimulus sooner.
The shift from a debate over whether price spikes are transient to outright fear of the impact of the latest wave of COVID-19 has caused the US 10-year yield to drop by more than 20 points base within a week as investors shifted to security. own assets. It fell nearly 4% from last Wednesday’s highs to Monday’s lows before rebounding.
The largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside of Japan on Wednesday reversed its initial gains to retreat 0.14%, extending the week’s losses to more than 2%.
Seoul slipped 0.29% and Hong Kong 0.46%.
was 0.6% higher after hitting six-month lows a day earlier, as investors bought cyclical stocks ahead of a long weekend that will mark the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and a jump in exports in June boosted hopes for an export-oriented economy. recovery.
Blue-chip Chinese stocks were also higher, up 0.81%
“The volume level, the sporadic level of jigsaw price action, I think, tells you that there isn’t a lot of conviction one way or another,” said Kay Van. -Petersen, Global Macro Strategist at Saxo Capital Markets in Singapore.
But even though he said the peak in global growth has likely passed, accommodative central bank policies continue to strongly support global asset prices even as they begin to signal declining asset purchases.
“The balance sheets of the G4 central banks have increased by 15% since 2008. And what I mean is this is not going to stop. It’s not going to stop. “
US Treasuries prices edged down, with the 10-year yield hitting 1.2151% from the previous day’s close of 1.209%. The 2-year yield was 0.2037%, compared to a close of 0.194%.
But echoing stock market concerns over a rise in global COVID-19 infections, the dollar remained near its three-month highs on Wednesday.
“While part of the world ignores the increase in infections as vaccination rates limit the severity of any symptoms of new cases, there are few parts of the world that can totally ignore this,” said Rob Carnell, Asia-Pacific Chief Economist at ING.
The latter rose 0.08% to 93.041, the euro down 0.07% to $ 1.1771. The dollar strengthened 0.05% against the yen to 109.89.
Oil prices resumed their decline after rebounding on Tuesday, as an industry report showed an unexpected build-up in oil stocks in the United States. [O/R]
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.46% to $ 66.89 per barrel and traded at $ 69.06 per barrel, down 0.42% on the day.
lost 0.07% to $ 1,808.84 an ounce as US yields rebounded.