Stocks waver, dollar softens as investors weigh earnings, data
HONG KONG – Stocks fell broadly, while the U.S. dollar also weakened early on Tuesday, as investors weigh corporate earnings and economic growth outlooks in a busy week.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.7 percent by 0220 GMT. Hong Kong’s benchmark edged down 1.2 percent, while mainland stocks lost 0.7 percent.
Markets in Australia and New Zealand are shut for a holiday.
Japan’s benchmark Nikkei average gained 0.5 percent. U.S. stock futures, the S&P 500 e-minis lost 0.2 percent.
On Monday, the Nasdaq closed lower, underperforming the S&P 500 and the Dow, with pressure from high-profile megacaps as investors awaited results from companies including Microsoft, while Tesla shares fell on concerns about its spending plans.
“There’s a lot of uncertainty. People still don’t know how much bank lending has been impacted by recent developments … when inflation will durably peak,” said Prashant Bhayani, chief investment officer Asia, BNP Paribas Wealth Management.
Bhayani also pointed to anxiety about other weak spots that might be exposed by the U.S. and Swiss banking turmoil.
Market participants are waiting for corporate earnings and a mix of economic data from the U.S., Europe and China for cues on the growth momentum and when a recession in the U.S. economy might start, he added.
In the U.S. treasury market, yields fell as participants looked for less risky places to park cash amid concerns over the approaching debt ceiling deadline.
Benchmark 10-year notes edged down to 3.4787 percent by 0220 GMT, after strengthening on Monday to 3.5034 percent.
One-month Treasury yields rose from their lowest levels since October on Monday on concerns about a potential standoff over the U.S. debt ceiling.
The dollar index was down 0.1 percent, making gold more attractive for buyers holding other currencies. Investors are looking forward to further U.S. economic data this week to gauge the Federal Reserve’s next policy move.
Spot gold was traded at $1998.68 per ounce.
Oil prices were steady as investors weighed strong holiday travel in China that could boost fuel demand with the prospect of rising interest rates elsewhere slowing economic growth.
Brent crude edged up 5 cents $82.78 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude edged up 9 cents to $78.85 a barrel.