Asian stocks falter as traders hold their breath ahead of Fed meeting By Reuters

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2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a stock listing board at a brokerage in Tokyo, Japan 2/2

By Stanley White TOKYO (Reuters) – Asian stocks struggled for firm gains on Wednesday as already elevated valuations discouraged investors from buying stocks ahead of a closely watched US Federal Reserve meeting. MSCI’s broader Asia-Pacific stock index outside of Japan declined 0.12%. Australian shares rose 0.47%, but China shares fell 0.06%. South Korean shares fell 0.99%. Tokyo shares rose 0.46%. E-mini stock futures were up 0.14%. were up 0.25%, Germany was up 0.16%, futures were up 0.31%, pointing to a positive start in European trading. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to reaffirm later Wednesday that looser monetary policy will remain in place for an extended period and dismiss any suggestions to reduce bond purchases. US President Joe Biden will also address a joint session of Congress, where he can make additional comments on infrastructure and stimulus spending. These developments would normally be positive for stocks, but analysts say so much economic optimism is already discounted in the stock market that it is difficult to buy stocks beyond current levels. “We expect the Fed’s tone on the economy to be more positive than at the March FOMC meeting, reflecting the ongoing rebound in data, but we do not expect any substantial new signals on the downside,” TD analysts wrote. Securities in a research note. “While we don’t expect much price action due to the Fed’s decision, Biden’s comments could still suggest more inbound supply, which could cause the (Treasury yield) curve to steep.” He was up 0.01%, but the S&P 500 lost 0.02% and fell 0.34% as investors took in a mix of earnings from Tesla (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc, 3M Co, Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ 🙂 and Alphabet (parent of Google) NASDAQ 🙂 overnight. Some investors were also reluctant to move before earnings from heavyweights Apple Inc (NASDAQ :), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 expire later this week. The improving US economy, rising coronavirus vaccination rates, and expectations of large fiscal spending are making more investors wonder when the Fed will start to slow down their bond purchases and how much they will tolerate the bonds. inflation legislators. Break-even rates on 10-year inflation-protected Treasury securities, a measure of expected annual inflation for the next decade, rose to 2.41%, the highest since 2013. Treasury bond yields at 10 benchmark years reached a two-week high of 1.6430%. The dollar rose slightly against the yen and sterling, but trading is expected to be subdued until Powell speaks after the Fed meeting. The Aussie fell lower on disappointing consumer price data. In the cryptocurrency market, Ether fell slightly from an all-time high above $ 2,700 reached after Bloomberg reported that the European Investment Bank plans to sell a two-year digital bond worth 100 million euros ($ 120 , 80 million) on the ethereum blockchain network. The rival cryptocurrency dipped to $ 55,618. In commodities, futures fell 0.03% to $ 66.40 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude lost 0.03% to $ 62.92 a barrel due to the energy demand concerns. The benchmark fell from a decade-long high of $ 9,965 a ton on Tuesday on concerns about declining demand in China, the world’s top consumer of the metal. Gold, which is often seen as a hedge against inflation, fell 0.28% to $ 1,771.70 in cautious trade ahead of the Fed meeting. ($ 1 = € 0.8278)