Asian shares slid on Wednesday, giving up small gains made the preceding day as investors endeavored to come to terms with a sharp shift in U.S. bond markets and the implications for the world’s top economy.
MSCI’s widest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan eased 0.1 percent while Japan’s Nikkei average lost 0.6 percent.
Chinese stocks opposed the trend, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite pick up 0.6 percent, the blue-chip CSI 300 rising 1.1 percent, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng advancing 0.5 percent.
U.S. stock’s main indexes tallied solid gains but finished lower their session highs in a reflection of the underlying worries about the financial outlook.
The S&P increased 0.72 percent while the NASDAQ Composite added 0.71 percent.
The 10-year U.S. Treasuries output edged to as high as 2.432 percent from Mondays’ 15-month low of 2.377 percent, though the yield curve stayed inverted, with three-month bills yielding 2.461 percent, more than 10-year bonds.
"While the markets now got out of the extreme nervousness about the U.S. yield curve, there is no denying that U.S. data has been soft of late, hardly dispelling worries about the outlook," said Hirokazu Kabeya, chief global strategist at Daiwa Securities.
Home building tumbled more than expected in February as construction of single-family homes plunged close to a two-year low while the consumer confidence index by the Conference Board dropped suddenly.
"We are entering a new phase in markets as the U.S. monetary policy cycle has come to a turning point, from rate hikes to rate cuts," said Akira Takei, bond fund manager at Asset Management One.
"Not all market participants have changed their mind-set yet. But as time goes by, it will become clear that a rate cut is the real possibility. The curve will be inverted further until the Fed cut rates," he said.
The pound inched down before the so-called indicative votes
Prime Minister Theresa May will address Conservative Party legislators, feasibly to set off a schedule for her departure, to win support for her two times-rejected Brexit deal as the parliament prepares to vote on a variety of possible options.
Before the alleged indicative votes, the pound edged 0.1 percent lower to $1.3185.
The euro fell to a two-week low of $1.1251 as the dollar increased some footing on a rebound in U.S. bond yields.
The dollar bordered back to 110.55 yen, from Monday's 1-1/2-month low of 109.70.
The New Zealand dollar took a fall after the country's central bank blindsided markets by saying the following move in interest rates would likely be down, leaving its long-standing neutral stance.
While the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) retained the official cash rate (OCR) at 1.75 percent as anticipated, it shocked various by flatly stating “the more likely direction of our next OCR move is down."
The kiwi dollar jumped 1.6 percent to a two-week low at $0.6797, whereas bond and bill futures rallied sharply, taking outputs to fresh all-time lows.
The Australian dollar was pulled down in its wake, sinking 0.4 percent to $0.7102, though the Aussie did make heavy gains on its kiwi counterpart.
Oil prices stayed supported by supply curbs by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries plus partners and as Venezuela's main oil export port and four crude upgraders have been not able to continue operations subsequent a massive power blackout.
Brent crude oil futures increased 0.2 percent to $68.12 per barrel while U.S. crude futures bordered up 0.1 percent to $60.01.
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