Asian stocks made a steady start Wednesday after U.S. equities inched lower as the tussle between economic optimism and inflation concern continues to play out in markets. Treasury yields edged up.
Japanese stocks fluctuated while Australia and South Korea posted modest gains. U.S. equity contracts were flat after the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 closed with small losses. U.S. manufacturing data overnight topped estimates but also signaled supply shortages and labor constraints.
Oil rose to a more than two-year peak, with the OPEC+ alliance forecasting a tightening global crude market and a nuclear deal with Iran still up in the air.
The dollar was steady in Asian trading. The lira fell to another record low against the greenback after Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed calls for lower interest rates. The offshore yuan was little changed amid a push by the People’s Bank of China to temper its appreciation.
Global stocks are looking for fresh catalysts as they hover at record highs. Concerns linger that the recovery from the pandemic will stoke inflation and prompt central banks to pare back policy support earlier than anticipated. Traders await key U.S. payrolls data Friday for a steer on the outlook.