Asian stocks decline as Japan’s market reopens after a major earthquake, echoing Wall Street’s weak start to 2024. Treasury yields and oil prices fluctuate amid concerns over inflation and geopolitical tensions.
Asian Market Response to Wall Street’s Weak Start
As Japanese markets reopened after a major earthquake, the somber mood was reflected in the Nikkei 225 falling 0.5%. Other major Asian indices, including Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, Shanghai Composite, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200, South Korea’s Kospi, and India’s Sensex, also declined by varying percentages.
Wall Street’s Decline and Economic Indicators
Wall Street saw a decline with the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq composite losing 0.8%, 0.8%, and 1.2% respectively. The drop was attributed to some of last year’s biggest winners, including Tesla, giving back gains. Additionally, reports indicated a possible slowdown in the overall economy and a contraction in the U.S. manufacturing industry.
Fluctuating Treasury Yields and Oil Prices
Following the reports, Treasury yields initially declined and the 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 3.91%. Market expectations of a possible 1.50 percentage point cut in the Fed’s main rate in 2024 led to fluctuating yields. In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude and Brent crude saw price increases, with U.S. crude jumping $2.32 a barrel on worries over geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
Currency and International Market
In currency trading, the U.S. dollar rose against the Japanese yen, while the euro also saw a slight increase. The international markets have been responding to the various economic and geopolitical indicators with fluctuations in commodity and currency prices.