Stocks in Asia to Slip After Vaccine Study Doubts: Markets Wrap

Stocks in Asia looked poised to track their U.S. peers lower afterreports circulated that Moderna Inc.’s vaccine study, which was credited in part for Monday’s rally, didn’t produce enough critical data to assess its success. Treasuries gained.

Futures dropped in Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. Contracts on the S&P 500 dipped after the U.S. gauge lost ground in the final hour of trading to end about 1% lower. Riskier assets had started the week on the front foot after the Moderna news fueled hopes for acoronavirus vaccine, but investors are struggling to maintain the optimism as they continue to monitor efforts to both contain the pandemic and restart economies. Crude oil slipped below $32 a barrel in New York, while the dollar edged lower.

“We are being fairly cautious,” Shawn Matthews, founder and chief investment officer at Hondius Capital Management LP, said on Bloomberg TV. “If you look at the economy, it feels like it’s the summer of hope right now, where everyone is hoping it’s going to turn around.”

Headwinds remain for stocks, not least a deteriorating U.S.-China relationship. In a further sign of tightening scrutiny on capital flows to the Asian nation, Nasdaq is set tounveil new rules for initial public offerings including tougher accounting standards that will make it more difficult for some Chinese companies to list on the exchange. Walmart and Home Depot both suspended their outlooks for the year, the latest companies to show the difficulties in predicting the road ahead.

Earlier, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated during a Senate hearing that the central bank is ready to use all the weapons in its arsenal to help the U.S. economy endure the coronavirus pandemic.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 dipped 0.2% as of 7:02 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge fell 1.1% on Tuesday.
  • Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.9%.
  • Hang Seng futures earlier retreated 0.2%.
  • Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 1.5%.

Currencies

  • The yen was at 107.68 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan held at 7.1190 per dollar.
  • The euro bought $1.0922.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell four basis points to 0.69%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 0.8% to $31.72 a barrel.
  • Gold was at $1,746.17 an ounce.

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