Markets: Asian stocks erase 2021 gains on concern over inflation, virus – Mint

Indian markets are closed today. Asian stocks extended losses on Thursday as inflation fears routed Wall Street equities.

13 May 2021, 07:58:10 AM IST

Asian markets down

Asian stocks dropped, with the regional benchmark erasing its gains for the year, as mounting worries over inflation and a resurgence in Covid-19 cases soured investor sentiment.

The MSCI Asia Pacific Index slid as much as 1%, tracking losses in American shares after data on Wednesday showed U.S. consumer prices climbed in April by the most since 2009. The Asian gauge has now fallen more than 9% from a Feb. 17 peak.

An explosive rally in commodity prices has come at a time when Asia’s tech stocks, much like their global peers, are contending with higher U.S. bond yields and stretched valuations, and regulatory tightening in China has also added to the sector’s woes. Regional stocks have also been set back by a surge in infections in several countries including India, Japan and parts of Southeast Asia.

“We need to kind of price in a more normal interest-rate environment, more normal inflation environment,” said Ken Peng, head of Asia investment strategy at Citigroup Inc.’s private-banking arm. “The shake up could last a while longer. But I’m still not too worried because, growth will comeback to be the most important element once interest rates normalize.”

Technology and communication services were the worst-performing sectors on the Asian gauge Thursday.

In Taiwan, the benchmark stock index extended losses after slumping the most since March last year on Wednesday partly due to concern over tightening of virus-linked restrictions.

Japanese shares declined for a third day on Thursday, while stocks in China snapped a two-day winning run. Markets in Singapore, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines were shut for a holiday.

13 May 2021, 07:29:23 AM IST

Wall Street ends lower overnight

Wall Street equities ended lower on Wednesday after after a report showed inflation rose more than forecast, adding to concern that price pressures will stifle a recovery in the world’s biggest economy.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 2%, the S&P 500 dropped 2.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 2.7%.

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