Asian Stocks Stumble, Tech Damps US Equity Futures:
- Microsoft darkens tone with sales outlook in cloud computing
- Treasuries hold gains, New Zealand, Australia yields whipsaw
Asian stocks struggled to find traction on Wednesday while US and European equity futures slumped as a downbeat revenue forecast from Microsoft Corp. added to risk aversion in global markets.
Contracts for the Nasdaq 100 dropped about 0.8%, following a slight decline in the underlying index on Tuesday. Futures for the S&P 500 also fell, as did those for the Euro Stoxx 50. Japan’s Topix index fluctuated and Australian shares erased early gains as inflation data soured sentiment.
South Korea’s Kospi index surged more than 1% in a catchup move after Lunar New Year holidays. Hong Kong and mainland China markets remain closed.
Microsoft erased gains in post-market trading in the US after warning that revenue growth in its Azure cloud-computing business would decelerate, tarnishing what had been an encouraging profit report.
Treasuries in Asia trading held gains after a rally Tuesday in the US as investors sought havens.
Australian and New Zealand 10-year yields fell more than 10 basis points before reversing the move to trade little changed. The turnaround followed inflation data for the two countries that came in higher than estimates, keeping pressure on their central banks to remain aggressive in fighting inflation.
The data also offer a warning to global investors that peak inflation may not be as near at hand as some expect.
Australia’s dollar advanced and New Zealand’s dollar fell.
Oil rose after a drop on Tuesday and gold inched lower after recent gains that pushed the precious metal to the highest level since April.