Karachi: Asian stocks rose slightly but remained within their previous trading range as investors focused on U.S. inflation data and the prospect of an upside surprise prompting the Federal Reserve to begin reducing its massive stimulus program
Early European transactions have seen the Euro Stoxx 50 futures rise 0.52 %, the German DAX futures rise %, and London’s FTSE futures rise %. The S&P 500 e-minis, or U.S. stock futures, were up 0.32 %.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asian stocks outside of Japan rose to 703.7 points, but remained stuck in the 698-712 point range it’s been in since late May.
The Nikkei in Japan gained 0.3 percent, while Australia’s benchmark market gained 0.6 percent. The blue-chip index in China increased by 0.6 percent.
Fixed income markets were the key movers overnight, with some experts predicting a setback to future US stimulus initiatives and others predicting a cleaning out of short positions in US government bonds ahead of the May CPI.
The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury notes fell to 1.4891 % on Wednesday, down from 1.528 % late Tuesday. Yields would fall to their lowest level since March 4 if they fell below 1.47 %
“Also at play was some thought that hedge funds may have shifted their bond allocation, driven by lower volatility in the bond market recently”, analysts said.
The S&P 500 came within a whisker of its all-time high set in May on Wall Street overnight, as heavyweight tech and healthcare sectors rose, but ending 0.1 percent lower. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.44 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.09 percent.