Asian stocks look set to slip following US declines as bond yields rise

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Futures in Asia pointed to a lower open on Wednesday following a down day for Wall Street as the U.S. 10-year Treasury yield rose to 3.09 percent in the last session.

Nikkei futures traded in Chicago were down 0.32 percent at 22,745 when compared to the index’s Thursday close, while Australian SPI futures were lower by 0.12 percent at the end of the last session.

On the earnings front, Tencent is among the corporates in the region slated to announce results later in the day. The Hong Kong-listed tech giant saw its shares plunge more than 3 percent in the last session.

U.S. stocks closed lower on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average snapping eight consecutive days of gains. The declines came after Home Depot announced sales missed forecasts while interest rates also weighed.

The Dow declined 0.78 percent, or 193 points, to close at 24,706.41, the S&P 500 edged down by 0.68 percent to 2,711.45 and the Nasdaq composite lost 0.81 percent to finish the day at 7,351.63.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose to 3.09 percent on Tuesday, its highest level in around seven years. On the economic front, retail sales stateside for April were in line with forecasts, rising 0.3 percent.

In currencies, the dollar index, which tracks the U.S. currency against a basket of rivals, firmed to its strongest levels since December in the last session. The dollar index last stood at 93.219 after rising as high 93.457.

Against the yen, the dollar traded at 110.31 — levels not seen since February — at 6:42 a.m. HK/SIN.

Geopolitics were also in focus amid media reports that North Korea had suddenly dropped plans for talks with South Korea slated to take place on Wednesday. Joint military drills between South Korea and the U.S. were highlighted as a reason for the cancellation of talks, Reuters reported, citing North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency.

That came ahead of a planned June 12 meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

In commodities, oil prices settled slightly higher as markets focused on the potential impact of U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports, although prices later eased slightly in post-settlement. U.S. crude futures added 0.5 percent to settle at $71.31 per barrel and Brent crude futures settled 0.3 percent higher at $78.43 per barrel.

Here’s the economic calendar for Wednesday (all times in HK/SIN):

  • 7:50 a.m.: Japan first-quarter GDP (first preliminary)
  • 9:30 a.m.: Australia wage price index
  • 9:30 a.m.: China house price index

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