Asian markets cautious ahead of US earnings and inflation data

| Updated: August 10, 2021 10:51:28

A man is reflected on a stock quotation board in Tokyo, Japan on February 26, 2021 — Reuters/Files A man is reflected on a stock quotation board in Tokyo, Japan on February 26, 2021 — Reuters/Files

Asia share markets were cautious on Tuesday after US markets weakened as investors anticipated the start of corporate earnings seasons and the release of key inflation data to indicate how the global recovery from the pandemic will emerge.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was trading less than 0.1 per cent higher early Tuesday.

In Australia, the S&P/ASX200 gained 10 points to 6983.90 early in the session while Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.9 per cent. Tech stocks drove the gain in Australian stocks while the country’s major miners showed signs of weakness.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.6 per cent in early trade while the mainland bluechip index CSI300 edged up 0.3 per cent ahead of March trade figures due to be published Tuesday.

South Korea’s KOSPI 200 Index was 0.5 per cent higher.

“Volatility has come off in U.S. markets as we see it trading flat ahead of reporting season,” said James Rosenberg, a Baillieu Holst advisor in Sydney.

“With markets at broadly record levels there’s expectations it’ll be very strong and that certainly does not leave much room for disappointment.”

In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 55.2 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 33,745.4, the S&P 500 lost 0.81 points, or 0.02 per cent, to 4,127.99 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 50.19 points, or 0.36 per cent, to 13,850.00.

Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren said Monday the US economy could see a significant rebound this year due to looser money and fiscal policy but the country’s job market still faced weakness.

He said with inflation still below the central bank’s 2 per cent target rate the current “highly accommodative” monetary policy stance remained appropriate.

US inflation data for March is due to be published Tuesday.

The benchmark 10-year yield was at 1.6782 per cent, holding below a 14-month high of 1.776 per cent reached on March 30. It traded between a range of 1.6835 per cent and 1.6427 per cent during the US session.

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