Most Asian stocks fell Wednesday amid growth concerns while Treasuries retained gains in the wake of inflation data that signaled flexibility for the Federal Reserve over when to start tapering stimulus.
Shares retreated in Japan and Australia, but edged higher in South Korea. U.S. futures rose. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 declined overnight. The 10-year Treasury yield remained below 1.3%, narrowing the yield gap between short- and longer-maturity U.S. debt. Bonds in Australia and New Zealand also advanced. The dollar was steady.
The Singapore-traded SGX Nifty, an early indicator of India’s Nifty 50 Index’s performance rose 0.09% to 17,408, as of 7:10 a.m.
U.S. inflation was less than forecast in August, supporting the view that pandemic-related price pressures could be transitory but leaving the overall argument undecided. A gauge of commodity prices remains around a decade-high, underscoring the rise in costs filtering across the global economy.
In China, investors are awaiting economic data that are likely to show the damage done from a Covid-19 outbreak. Elsewhere, oil gained after a U.S. industry report showed a decline in inventories of crude and gasoline, signaling a tightening market.