Home >Markets >Stock Markets >Asian stocks dip, US futures climb after record

Most Asian stocks slipped at the open Thursday and U.S. equity futures gained after the S&P 500 inched up to another record, bolstered by the Federal Reserve’s commitment to supportive policy.

Falls in Japan and South Korea weighed on MSCI Inc.’s regional share gauge, while Australia rose. Toshiba Corp. rallied further following a buyout proposal. U.S. futures climbed after the S&P 500 advanced amid dwindling volume on U.S. exchanges. Rallies in technology giants including Apple Inc. helped push the Nasdaq 100 higher. The dollar held gains and Treasury yields were steady.

Fed officials were united on the need to see more progress on the recovery before scaling back their massive bond-buying program, according to minutes from last month’s meeting released Wednesday. Policy makers have downplayed inflation risks, maintaining that the recent surge in Treasury yields reflects stronger growth prospects. Traders have scaled back their most-aggressive positioning for interest rates to start rising by the end of next year.

“The rate side is still somewhat front-and-center, and probably the biggest risk to what is going on with equity valuations," said Mark Heppenstall, chief investment officer at Penn Mutual Asset Management. “Clearly, there’s been a repricing of inflation expectations higher this year, and at times, the stock market has struggled with it."

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen unveiled details of a plan to bring back about $2 trillion in corporate profits into the U.S. tax net. That would help fund the government’s spending initiatives, potentially reducing reliance on more borrowing that could drive rates higher.

Some key events to watch this week:

• The 2021 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank Group take place virtually. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell takes part in a panel about the global economy on Thursday.

• Japan releases its balance of payments numbers Thursday.

• China’s consumer and producer prices data are due Friday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:


• S&P 500 futures were up 0.2% as of 9:27 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 gained 0.2%.

• Japan’s Topix Index was down 0.8%.

• South Korea’s Kospi Index fell 0.3%.

• Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.7%.

• Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index futures fell 0.7%.


• The yen was little changed at 109.84 per dollar.

• The offshore yuan was at 6.5523 per dollar.

• The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steady.

• The euro was little changed at $1.1872.


• The yield on 10-year Treasuries was steady around 1.67%.


• West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.6% to $59.39 a barrel.

• Gold was at $1,736.85 an ounce.

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