Stocks fell across the Asia-Pacific region after a day of fierce slump on Wall Street, where shares pulled back from a loss as the head of the U.S. central bank did not immediately announce any plans to change ultra-thin monetary policy.
Tokyo’s Topix index fell 0.5 percent as trading began after Tuesday’s holiday in Japan, while Australia’s S&P / ASX 200 fell at the same rate. CSI 300 Shanghai- and Shenzhen-listed stocks rose 0.2 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was flat.
Overnight in the U.S., the S&P 500 benchmark and the Nasdaq Composite with a technical focus fell as much as 1.8 and 3.9 percent, respectively, before recovering from losses following comments by Jay Powell, chairman of the Reserve Federal. The S&P 500 finished the session up 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq down 0.5 percent.
Powell told the Senate banking committee Tuesday that the Fed expected strong support for America’s pandemic economy.
“In the last few weeks, the number of new cases and hospitals has been falling, and ongoing vaccinations offer hope of a return to more normal conditions later in the year,” he said. . “However, the economic recovery remains uneven and far from complete, and the way forward is uncertain.”
Stock futures for the S&P 500 and FTSE 100 London were 0.1 percent higher in Asian trading on Wednesday.
There was little movement in bond markets, with 10-year U.S. Treasury yields flat at 1.35 percent. The 10-year yield has risen 0.4 percentage points this year as rising inflation has raised concerns that the Fed could raise rates faster than expected. Yields rise when bond prices fall.
The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of its peers, was down 0.1 percent, with most Asian exchange rates stable following Powell’s comments.
Elsewhere in currencies, sterling rose 0.4 percent against the dollar to $ 1.4163 following reports that UK chancellor Rishi Sunak could extend stamp duty holidays for property transactions by another three months. The UK currency is trading at its highest level since April 2018.
Oil prices with crude Brent, the international benchmark, fell 0.7 percent to $ 64.90 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, fell at the same level as $ 61.24 a barrel.