Market Overview

Stocks pause for breath as bond selloff extends

Stocks took a breather on Tuesday, easing from record highs as political turmoil in Washington and rising coronavirus cases gave pause, though a selloff in U.S. Treasuries extended as investors reckon on a big spending government. The yield on benchmark U.S. government 10-year debt, which rises when prices fall, gained as much as 2.4 basis points to a fresh ten-month high of 1.1580%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.5% after touching an all-time high on Monday, led by a 2.6% drop in South Korea as investors took some profit from a soaring Kospi.

Drugmakers lifted Japan’s Nikkei to a fresh three-decade high after reports of another effective COVID-19 treatment, though the index eased to be 0.16% lower in the afternoon. Strong inflows helped Chinese blue chips 1.11% higher. S&P 500 futures were 0.05% weaker and London’s FTSE futures were 0.13% lower in Asia on Tuesday. A resurgent U.S. dollar clung to four days of gains against other major currencies, holding the euro and yen close to multi-week lows.

Political uncertainty tempered the mood somewhat as Democrats introduced a resolution to impeach U.S. President Donald Trump, accusing him of inciting insurrection following a violent attack on the Capitol last week. Overnight, the Nasdaq led modest losses on Wall Street, falling 1.3% as investors sold tech giants who have taken actions against Trump and his supporters. Twitter tumbled 6.4% on Monday after it permanently suspended Trump’s account last Friday.

Stocks pause for breath as bond selloff extends, Reuters, Jan 12

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