Asian Shares on Defensive, Hoping for China Stimulus Plan
March 25, 2014 2:53 PM EST
Asian shares were in a defensive mode on Tuesday after Wall Street fell overnight, though still-vague hopes of a new stimulus plan in China could improve investor sentiment.
Asian markets trade lower on 16 December (Reuters).
U.S. Treasuries prices fell, with the benchmark two-year yield hitting a six-month high as investors grew nervous that the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates sooner than expected. Bond yields rise when prices fall.
On Wall Street, the Nasdaq Composite Index led the losses with a fall of 1.2 percent to five-week low, as investors took some money off recent top performers such as biotech shares. The S&P500 Index fell 0.5 percent to 1,857.44.
Concerns over Ukraine and soft U.S. manufacturing were cited as possible catalyst, though market players noted the selling could also reflect unwinding of positions ahead of the quarter-end.
The survey on U.S. manufacturing by financial data firm Markit also showed U.S. manufacturing activity slowed in March.
U.S. President Barack Obama and major industrialised allies warned Russia on Monday it faces additional economic sanctions if President Vladimir Putin takes further action to destabilise Ukraine following the seizure of Crimea.
"In short, there's nowhere to put money at this point. Investors are generally upbeat on the U.S. but they want to see more evidence that the weakness in some of the recent data is due to a bad weather," said Tohru Yamamoto, chief fixed income strategist at Daiwa Securities.
Yet short-term U.S. bond prices are under pressure after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the Fed could raise rates six months after its current bond-buying programme ends - potentially as soon as spring 2015.
Even as the U.S. 30-year yield fell to 3.56 percent, near this year's low of 3.525 percent, short-dated debt yields moved in the opposite direction, flattening the yield curve sharply.
The U.S. two-year yield shot to six-month high of 0.4655 percent also due in part to caution over the two-year debt sale on Tuesday, the first leg of U.S. government issuance this week totalling $96 billion.
Rising U.S. short-term rates were undermining the attraction of precious metals, with gold was fetching $1,308.91 per ounce, close to Monday's near one-month low of $1,307.54.
Silver tumbled to a six-week low of $19.84 and last stood at $19.89.
In contrast, emerging markets were generally resilient after weak Chinese manufacturing data on Monday sparked expectations the Chinese government could unveil stimulus measures following Monday's weak survey of manufacturing.
Most Popular Slideshows
- G20 Summit Awkward Moments: Putin Yawns, Mystery Bubbles Appear, F18 Drama Ensues
- Real Life ‘Frozen’: Snow Overwhelms The US, Kills 7; More To Come (Pictures)
- Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt in Sydney for ‘Unbroken’ Red Carpet Premiere [PHOTOS]
- ‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5, Episode 8 Spoilers: Daryl Dixon Is Set To Burn The Place Down in ‘Coda’
Join the Conversation
- Germany, Not U.S., Is The World’s Favorite Country; UK, Canada, Australia Maintain Top 10 Spots
- Air Canada Expands Vancouver Boeing 787 Dreamliners To Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Tokyo-Narita Routes
- Canada Consumer Alert: Tim Hortons Prices Of Coffee, Sandwiches To Go Up Effective Nov 26
- Doomsday Seed Vault Safeguards More Marijuana Seeds
- Canada’s Toronto Files Injunction Against Uber Ridesharing Service Provider
- Walmart Early Price Matching Special Event On Nov. 21, 2014 Matches Its Competitors' Black Friday 2014 Prices And Includes Exclusive Deals For Samsung LED HDTVs And iPad Air 2 [WATCH VIDEO]
- US Plane Flying Over Russian Skies Spotted; Vladimir Putin Ready For 'Practical Cooperation' With US
- Microsoft Band Wearable Gadget At $199 Is A Sell-Out
- 6 Big Reasons iPhone 6 Plus is Must-Have Black Friday, Christmas 2014 Buy
- Nexus 6 Release Date And Price Under AT&T, T-Mobile And Sprint Listed
- NATO To Russia: 'Pull Back Your Troops'
- Alleged 'Microsoft Lumia 1030' Front Panel Leaked With Capacitive Buttons; 'Xbox One' Owners To Get Free Goodies On Anniversary