Investors react to U.S. inflation, Treasury yields

SINGAPORE – Shares in Asia-Pacific fell in Friday morning trade, tracking losses seen overnight on Wall Street after the release of a hotter-than-expected US consumer inflation report pushed the 10-year Treasury yield past 2%.

Mainland Chinese stocks slipped in early trade as the Shanghai composite declined 0.52% while the Shenzhen component shed 0.902%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index traded 0.62% lower.

South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.78%, while the S & P / ASX 200 in Australia declined 0.77%.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.9% lower.

Markets in Japan are closed on Friday for a holiday.

Investors monitored moves in US bond yields on Friday, after the US consumer price index for January showed a hotter-than-expected 7.5% year-over-year rise – its largest gain since 1982. The reading was also higher than Dow Jones estimates of 7.2% for the closely watched inflation gauge.

The benchmark US 10-year Treasury yield, which crossed 2% Thursday stateside after starting the year at 1.51%, last sat at 2.0329%. Yields move inversely to prices.

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The major indexes on Wall Street tumbled overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropping 526.47 points to 35,241.59 while the S&P 500 shed 1.81% to 4,504.08. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lagged as it plunged 2.1% to 14,185.64.

Currencies

The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 95,866 after recently dropping from levels close to 96 before bouncing from below 95.4.

The Japanese yen traded at 116.06 per dollar, weaker than levels below 115.8 seen against the greenback yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $ 0.7141 after recently falling from above 0.72%.

Oil prices were lower in the morning of Asia trading hours, with international benchmark Brent crude futures down 0.48% to $ 90.97 per barrel. US crude futures shed 0.29% to $ 89.62 per barrel.

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