Asian stocks slide as Powell is silent on rising inflation rates By


© Reuters.

By Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks fell on Friday morning, continuing Thursday’s losses after movements in US Treasury yields added to investor jitters. China was down 0.29% at 10:25 PM ET (3:25 AM GMT) and down 0.07%. The National People’s Congress of China opened on Friday, setting a conservative level of more than 6%, below economists’ forecasts, for 2021. The congress also outlined fiscal support to support China’s economic recovery from COVID -19. Beijing also included reforms to Hong Kong’s electoral system on the agenda for its annual “two-session” meetings that began on Thursday. The reforms could lead to the Hong Kong Legislative Council elections being delayed for another year until September 2022 and curbing the choice of democracy activists. Congress is reportedly now ready to review a draft resolution proposing the reforms in the coming days. Hong Kong fell 1.07%. Japan fell 1.48%. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said the current state of emergency in the Tokyo region, which expires on March 7, could be extended for two weeks. South Korea fell 0.88% and Australia fell 0.99%. US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell disappointed expectations during the Wall Street Journal jobs summit on Thursday by refusing to signal long-term bond purchases to keep long-term interest rates low. However, he mentioned the recent rise in yields without hinting at an intervention during his speech at the summit, saying he would be “concerned about messy conditions.” Bond yields rose in Australia after a jump in the 10-year Treasury to 1.56% raised the yield curve to its steepest point since 2015. The dollar rose on Friday. Some investors raised concerns about rising inflation and the impact of higher yields on elevated equity valuations, even as others view rate movements as a positive sign of economic recovery. “The US dollar has gained 0.8%, and there you see the holy trinity of market fears: rising real rates, higher expectations of rate hikes and a stronger US dollar,” the head of Pepperstone Markets Ltd. research, Chris Weston. Other investors agreed with Weston. “It makes logical and intuitive sense for Treasury yields to go back up to 1.50% or 2%, but we are concerned with the rest of the market about the speed at which it is coming,” Allianz said (DE: ) Global Investors LLC Investment strategist Mona Mahajan told Bloomberg. Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate voted Thursday to accept President Joe Biden‘s $ 19 billion stimulus package bill, and the chamber is expected to pass the country’s sixth stimulus package since they began. the COVID-19-induced lockdowns a year ago at the end of the weekend debate. Investors are also expecting the February US employment report, Included, to be released later in the day.

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