Stocks in Asia decline as concerns over global growth linger; US treasury yields stabilize - Southern Business Review

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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Stocks in Asia decline as concerns over global growth linger; US treasury yields stabilize


Stocks in Asia slipped in Wednesday morning trade as investor concerns over the outlook for the global economy lingered.


The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 0.58 percent in early trade, as shares of automaker Nissan dropped more than 3.5 percent. The Topix index also fell 0.87 percent.


In South Korea, the Kospi slipped 0.57 percent as industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics saw its stock drop about 2 percent after the company said on Tuesday its first quarter earnings would likely fall short of expectations.

Meanwhile, the ASX 200 in Australia declined 0.5 percent in morning trade, with almost all sectors seeing losses.


Shares of Lynas recovered from an earlier slip to rise 1.9 percent, after the latter rejected a takeover bid by the conglomerate Wesfarmers. For its part, shares of Wesfarmers traded flat.


"The global growth and data concerns that drove the downside moves over the last few days are still with us and investors will be looking for fresh reasons for the market to rally further over the next few sessions," analysts from Rakuten Securities Australia said in a note.



Overnight on Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 140.90 points to close at 25,657.73, while the S&P 500 finished its trading day higher by 0.7 percent at 2,818.46 — its first gain in three sessions. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.7 percent to close at 7,691.52.


The gains on Wall Street were trimmed, but the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield rebounded off lows.


The benchmark rate sat at about 2.42 percent on Tuesday afternoon stateside, about 3 basis points below its session high. That move came a day after reaching its lowest level since December 2017. The 10-year's decline caused a so-called yield-curve inversion as the 3-month Treasury bill yield moved above the benchmark rate.


Investors see a yield-curve inversion as a signal that a recession may be on the horizon, so a rise in long-term rates is being viewed as a positive right now.


The yield curve inverted amid the release of weak economic data from the U.S. and around the world as well as a downgraded U.S. economic outlook from the Federal Reserve.


"The risk of a US recession has increased, in large part due to the risk posed from deteriorating sentiment, but we still do not expect a US or global recession in 2019," Esty Dwek, senior investment strategist at Natixis Investment Managers, said in a Tuesday note.


"We could see further volatility and short-term corrections in equity markets as growth fears reappear, but we continue to expect risk assets to grind higher in the coming months, though not at the January pace," Dwek said.



The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.765 after bouncing from lows below 96.6 yesterday.


The Japanese yen, widely viewed as a safe-haven currency, traded at 110.45 against the dollar after seeing lows around 110.6 in the previous session. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7135 after seeing highs above $0.714 yesterday.


Oil prices slipped in the morning of Asian trading hours, with the international benchmark Brent crude futures contract declining 0.16 percent to $67.86 per barrel. U.S. crude futures also shed 0.18 percent to $59.83 per barrel.