Home >Markets >Stock Markets >Asian stocks hover near record high; yields steady

Asia stocks edged higher at the open, with global markets poised at all-time highs as investors assess the pace of the recovery from the pandemic. Treasuries held gains.

Equity benchmarks in Japan, Australia and South Korea advanced. U.S. futures were in the green after technology companies led a modest decline in the S&P 500 Index on Tuesday, offsetting gains in retailers. The Nasdaq 100 also retreated in low activity. Volume on U.S. exchanges slipped below 10 billion shares for the first time this year.

Oil fluctuated as the International Monetary Fund upgraded its global growth forecast for the second time in three months, countering concerns about flare-ups in Covid-19 infections in parts of the world. The dollar stabilized after dropping against major peers.

Traders are taking heart from the assurance of continued central bank support and an improving growth outlook. The IMF opened its spring meetings with forecasts for the strongest global expansion in at least four decades. Concerns about higher borrowing costs destabilizing the market have also eased, with bond yields subsiding as traders pull their more-aggressive positioning for Federal Reserve policy tightening.

“Central banks are continuing to keep interest rates so low so people are looking for some place to put their money where they can get a return," Sarah Hunt, Alpine Woods Capital Investors associate portfolio manager, said on Bloomberg TV. “I think that’s also why you have stocks priced somewhat for perfection."

The latest U.S. labor-market data showed U.S. job openings rose to a two-year high in February, led by gains in some of the industries hardest hit during the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the fallout from the blowup at Archegos Capital Management is still playing out, as Credit Suisse Group AG unloaded more than $2 billion of shares in the latest block trades stemming from the liquidation of Bill Hwang’s fund.

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.

• The Fed publishes minutes from its March meeting on Wednesday.

• 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 rose 0.1% as of 9:07 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 fell 0.1%.

• Topix Index rose 0.4%.

• Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.2%.

• South Korea’s Kospi Index rose 0.2%.


• The yen was at 109.86 per dollar.

• The offshore yuan was at 6.5460 per dollar.

• The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.

• The euro traded at $1.1871.


• The yield on 10-year Treasuries was at 1.66% after falling four basis points.

• Australia’s 10-year Treasury yield fell two basis points to 1.76%.


• West Texas Intermediate crude was little changed at $59.31 a barrel.

• Gold was at $1,741.98 an ounce.

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