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GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares flat, holidays help blunt U.S. tech retreat

Stock MarketsMay 05, 2021 10:50
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© Reuters.

* Asian stock markets :
* Early moves marginal with Japan and China on holiday
* NASDAQ futures flat after selloff in high caps
* Dollar holds gains on risk of higher U.S. rates
* Oil at 7-wk high as more countries open borders to travel

By Wayne Cole
SYDNEY, May 5 (Reuters) - Asian shares risked falling for a
fourth straight session on Wednesday as sentiment took a knock
from a selloff in large cap Wall Street tech darlings, combined
with talk of rising U.S. interest rates.
Holidays in Japan, China and South Korea limited the early
reaction, leaving MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares
outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS dithering either side of flat.
Japan's Nikkei .N225 was shut, but futures traded down at
28,735 NKc1 compared to the last cash close of 28,812.
Nasdaq futures NQc1 steadied after a sharp pullback
overnight, while S&P 500 futures ESc1 inched up 0.1%.
The Nasdaq had dropped 1.9% on Tuesday as some big tech
names ran into profit-taking, including Microsoft Corp MSFT.O ,
Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O , Apple Inc AAPL.O and Inc
Stretched valuations were tested when U.S. Treasury
Secretary Janet Yellen said rate hikes may be needed to stop the
economy overheating. She later waked back the comments, but it reminded investors
that rates would have to rise at some point in the future.
"Moderate inflation and a slow moving Fed would continue to
be supportive, but inflation and a reactive Fed may prove to be
a negative for valuations," said Tapas Strickland, a director of
economics at NAB.
"Either way yields and equities are likely to be in a dance
as much better than expected economic data continues to
challenge central banks' rates guidance."
One such challenge looms on Friday when U.S. payrolls data
are forecast to show a hefty rise of 978,000, while some
estimates go as high as 2.1 million.
So far, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has argued the
labour market is still far short of where it needs to be to
start talking of tapering asset buying.
Minneapolis Fed Bank President Neel Kashkari, a notable
dove, on Tuesday said it may take a few years for the economy to
get back to full employment. The Fed's dogged patience allowed yields on U.S. 10-year
notes US10YT=TWEB to ease back to 1.59%, from last week's top
of 1.69%, though the market has struggled to break below 1.53%.
Just the mention of higher U.S. rates was enough to help the
dollar recoup a little of its recent losses.
The euro dropped back to $1.2015 EUR= and threatened to
breach important chart support in the $1.1995/1.2000 area. A
break would open the way to a retracement target at $1.1923.
The dollar was a shade firmer on the yen at 109.36 JPY= ,
but faces resistance at 109.61. Against a basket of currencies,
the dollar edged up to 91.282 =USD and away from a recent
two-month low of 90.422.
The New Zealand dollar blipped higher to $0.7160 NZD=D3
when local jobs data proved strong than expected. In commodity markets, palladium XPD= soared to a record
high on worries over short supplies of the metal used in
emissions controlling devices in automobiles. GOL/
Gold was left lagging at $1,776 an ounce XAU= .
Oil prices climbed to seven-week peaks as more countries
opened their borders to travellers, improving the demand outlook
for petrol and jet fuel. O/R
Brent LCOc1 added 57 cents to $69.49 a barrel, near its
highest since mid-March, while U.S. crude CLc1 rose 52 cents
to $66.23 per barrel.

Asia stock markets
Asia-Pacific valuations
(Editing by Sam Holmes)

GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares flat, holidays help blunt U.S. tech retreat

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