Asian shares declined in early trade on Tuesday as Wall Street retreated on worries about accelerating inflation, prompting investors to cut back on their exposure to growth-focused stocks on bets of higher interest rates in the not-too-distant future.
A host of Federal Reserve speakers this week will likely give markets plenty to consider as policymakers assess how best to respond to receding risks posed by the coronavirus in some major economies.
A test case on US inflation will come this week when the Labor Department releases its latest consumer price index report on Wednesday.
In early trade, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 1.7%, with Australian stocks off 1.2% and Tokyo’s Nikkei 2.63% lower.
Overnight, Wall Street closed lower as inflation jitters drove investors away from market-leading growth stocks in favor of cyclicals, which stand to benefit most as the economy gathers momentum.
Back home, the board of directors of InterGlobe Aviation Limited, which operates the country’s largest domestic airline IndiGo has approved raising upto ₹3,000 crore through a Qualified Institutions Placement (QIP) process, the company said in a stock exchange notification on Monday.
State-owned Punjab National Bank on Monday launched a so-called qualified institutional placement (QIP) offer to raise as much as Rs1,800 crore from institutional investors. This is the second time the state-owned bank has hit the market to raise funds from institutional investors in the last six months, having raised Rs3,788 crore in December through a QIP.
Key companies which will announce March quarter results today are Godrej Consumer Products , Siemens, KEC International and Kalpataru Power.
Speculation that growing price pressure would erode the dollar’s value kept the U.S. currency near a 2.5month low. By early Tuesday, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major currencies, had pared losses to stand at 90.333.
A sluggish dollar helped sterling rally to $1.412, the highest since 25 February, despite Scotland’s leader saying another referendum on independence was inevitable after her party’s resounding election victory.
Rising inflation expectations lifted longer-dated U.S. Treasury yields. The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose to 1.5914% after plunging to a two-month low of 1.469% on Friday.
Treasuries and the dollar have swung back and forth as investors adjust their expectations for when the U.S. Federal Reserve will start tapering bond purchases and raising interest rates as the U.S. economy gains momentum.
The two-year yield, which rises with traders’ expectations of higher Fed fund rates, touched 0.1528% compared with a U.S. close of 0.153%.
Oil prices gave up earlier gains as concerns that rising covid cases in Asia will dampen demand outweighed expectations that a major U.S. fuel pipeline could restart within the week following a cyber attack.
US heating oil futures, which reflects prices for jet fuel and diesel, stood at 2.0074 a gallon. US crude dipped 0.63% to $64.51 a barrel. Brent crude fell to $67.83 per barrel.
Gold was slightly lower. Spot gold was at $1834.36 per ounce.