- Dollar edges lower versus its Group-of-10 counterparts
- Crude oil steadies after wild ride; Bitcoin rout pauses
Stocks were mixed in Asia amid fragile sentiment as investors weighed the impact of Covid infections in China and parsed comments from Federal Reserve officials on interest rate hikes.
A gauge of Asian equities came off its intraday highs as equities in Hong Kong slid with China’s daily virus infections climbing to near the highest on record. Covid-control restrictions now affect a fifth of China’s economy.
Japanese shares led gains in the region, supported by weakness in the yen, while the Australian market followed energy and materials companies higher. US futures made small gains after technology stocks, which are typically more sensitive to interest rates, dragged the S&P 500 lower Monday.
Fed officials have broadly maintained their steadfast stance to fight against inflation. Yet San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly also said that officials need to be mindful of the lags in the transmission of policy changes while her Cleveland counterpart Loretta Mester said she’s open to slowing the tempo of rate hikes.
The dollar fell after advancing Monday amid appetite for haven assets. Government bond-yield curves flattened in Australia and New Zealand with gains in short-maturity rates, following similar moves in the US Monday. Treasury yields declined Tuesday.
Oil steadied around $80 per barrel as investors assessed a clouded supply outlook and concerns over weaker demand in China. Gold rose.
Cryptocurrency prices also steadied, in a lull from the selloff sparked by the demise of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX empire. Investors remain braced for more ructions as further digital-asset sector bankruptcies loom.