Tuesday March 13, 2018
09:38 AM GMT+8


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A man walks past an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo February 9, 2018. — Reuters picA man walks past an electronic stock quotation board outside a brokerage in Tokyo February 9, 2018. — Reuters picTOKYO, March 13 — Asian stocks stalled today, halting an earlier rally after Wall Street shares lost steam, while the US dollar sagged on the back of declining US yields.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan inched down 0.05 per cent. The index had surged 1.5 per cent yesterday following firm US jobs numbers, while low wage growth eased concerns about inflation and faster central bank rate hikes.

But a mixed performance by US shares overnight cooled investor risk appetite in Asia. The S&P 500 and the Dow slipped yesterday as the US tariffs signed into law last week weighed on industrials, while gains in tech stocks boosted the Nasdaq.

Focus now turns to US consumer price data due later today for the global markets to gauge inflation trends in the world's largest economy and as a guide for upcoming Fed policy.

Australian shares lost 0.5 per cent, South Korea's Kospi fell 0.2 per cent and Japan's Nikkei shed 0.8 per cent.

“Concerns towards trade conflict stemming from US tariffs continue to linger in the background, capping risk appetite, pushing Treasury yields lower which in turn weighing on the US dollar,” said Junichi Ishikawa, senior FX strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.

“That said, there are still bright spots that bode well for broader risk sentiment, as the Nasdaq's gains shows.”

Separately, US President Donald Trump yesterday blocked Singapore-based semiconductor maker Broadcom Ltd's takeover bid of Qualcomm Inc on grounds of national security, ending what would have been the technology industry's biggest deal ever.

The US dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was flat at 89.900 after shedding about 0.2 per cent overnight.

The euro was a shade higher at US$1.2339 adding to overnight gains of 0.25 per cent.

The US currency was down 0.15 per cent at 106.280 yen after a renewed political scandal in Japan threw doubt over the future of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic policies and pushed it off last week's peak above 107.00.

The benchmark 10-year US Treasury note yield stood little changed at 2.873 per cent. The yield declined by 2.5 basis points overnight.

In commodities, crude oil prices extended losses after sliding the previous day amid ongoing concerns over rising US output.

US crude futures lost 0.05 per cent to US$61.33 (RM239.26) per barrel after losing 0.8 per cent the previous day. — Reuters



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