Asian stocks and U.S. equity futures wavered Monday as traders weighed Janet Yellen’s comments on higher interest rates and looked ahead to this week’s U.S. inflation report.
Shares fluctuated in Japan and retreated in Hong Kong. U.S. equity contracts fell after the S&P 500 rose toward a record on a jobs report that was strong enough to stir reopening optimism but not inflation fears. Investors continue to assess whether price pressures will lead central banks to pare stimulus earlier than expected.
Treasury Secretary Yellen said President Joe Biden should push forward with his spending plans even if they trigger inflation that persists into next year, adding a “slightly higher” interest rate environment would be a “plus.” Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields and the dollar ticked up.
Meanwhile, the Group of Seven rich nations secured a landmark deal that could help countries collect more taxes from big firms and enable governments to impose levies on U.S. tech giants such as Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc.
Speculation continues that the U.S. recovery from the pandemic may be strong enough to prompt Federal Reserve discussions in the weeks ahead on tapering asset purchases. Traders are looking ahead to the U.S. consumer-price index report this week for more clues.