Asian stocks fluctuated Monday amid some spikes in Covid-19 cases, and U.S. equity futures edged lower as inflation concerns weighed further on investor sentiment. The dollar ticked higher.
Chinese stocks outperformed, shrugging off below-forecast economic readings. While European equity futures were in the green, U.S. contracts slipped, suggesting Friday’s rally on Wall Street after a bruising week may be short-lived. Japan retreated and Taiwan — one of the economies dealing with a virus flareup — tumbled.
The spread of the virus is front and center again in Asia as vaccinations lag the largest developed nations. Singapore will stop most school classes this week and Taiwan is racing to contain its worst outbreak. In contrast, the rolling one-week average of new U.S. cases fell to the lowest since June.
Treasury yields extended declines from Friday on a report that showed the recent surge in U.S. retail sales stalled in April. Most commodities opened the week on a steadier footing after last week’s volatility. Bitcoin traded below $43,000 after whipsawing over the weekend amid more comments from billionaire Elon Musk.