Asia shares make cautious gains after Wall Street rises as US yields fall


Asian equities made early trading gains on Thursday after a mixed session Wall Street buoyed by expectations of a U.S. stimulus package even as political events in Washington culminated in the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

U.S. Treasury yields posted their first full-session decline in 2021 after rising for six straight sessions as investors eyed more spending by the incoming U.S. administration.

The benchmark S&P 500 had closed slightly higher driven by rate-sensitive defensive sectors such as utilities and real estate, while economically sensitive cyclical sectors lagged.

”There this push-pull relationship between what happens in the bond market and equity markets,” said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist at Allianz Investment Management.

”Bond yields have risen in prospect of more stimulus spending and if yields continue to rise to there’s going to be some pressure on equity markets.”

Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures rose 0.21% in early trading, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures rose 0.23%.

Intel Corp was the biggest percentage gainer in the S&P, advancing 7% after the chipmaker said it would replace its Chief Executive Officer Bob Swan with VMware Inc CEO Pat Gelsinger next month.

Wall Street’s main indexes had hit record highs last week on expectations for a hefty COVID-19 relief package, which President-elect Joe Biden is due to unveil on Thursday.

Following the storming of the U.S. Capitol, the House of Representatives voted on Wednesday to impeach Donald Trump, making him the first U.S. president to be impeached twice.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.03%, the S&P 500 gained 0.23%, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.43%.

Several Federal Reserve officials pushed back against the idea of the central bank tapering its asset purchases any time soon despite expectations of higher inflation.

The climb in yields is expected to resume, partly due to the effect of the stimulus package from the Biden adimistration, which will be inaugurated next week.

An auction of $ 24 billion in 30-year bonds was well bid, further pressuring yields lower. Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 13/32 in price to yield 1.0951%, from 1.138% late on Tuesday.

The U.S. dollar rebounded from near three-week lows on Wednesday, rising broadly on hopes of increased government spending.

The dollar index rose 0.357%, with the euro down 0.42% to $ 1.2156. The Japanese yen weakened 0.11% versus the greenback at 103.87 per dollar.

Oil prices fell as the threat of lower demand due to rising global COVID-19 cases outweighed support from a greater-than-anticipated drop in U.S. crude inventories.

U.S. crude recently fell 0.6% to $ 52.89 per barrel and Brent was at $ 56.04, down 0.95% on the day.

Spot gold dropped 0.4% to $ 1,848.05 an ounce. Silver fell 1.38% to $ 25.22.