Asian markets pull back after Wall Street’s weekly loss


Shares slipped Monday in most Asian markets after Wall Street benchmarks ended last week with a decline.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 JP:NIK declined 0.3% and the Hang Seng HK:HSI in Hong Kong lost 1.8%. In Seoul, the Kospi KR:180721 edged 0.1% lower, while the S&P/ASX 200 AU:XJO picked up 0.2%. The Shanghai Composite index CN:SHCOMP gained 0.1%.

Shares fell in Taiwan TW:Y9999, Singapore SG:STI and Indonesia ID:JAKIDX.

Japan reported its wholesale prices were near a 13-year high in August, adding to concerns over inflation as the country prepares for a leadership transition.

Prices have surged in the world’s three largest economies, and elsewhere, as supply chain troubles, shipping bottlenecks and other disruptions arising from the pandemic hinder a return to normal growth.

“Cautious sentiments largely follow through with the downside move for U.S. markets last week, amid growth concerns along with rising inflationary pressures,” Jun Rong Yeap of IG said in a commentary.

Price pressures add to the likelihood that the Federal Reserve and other central banks might move sooner to nudge interest rates up from the ultra-low levels they have been kept at to help fend off the worst impacts of the pandemic.

On Friday, stocks pulled back and the S&P 500 lost 0.8% in its fifth straight decline, ending 1.7% lower for the week.

Stocks have traded in a narrow range for several weeks as many investors stick to the sidelines waiting to get a fuller understanding of where the economy is headed and how the pandemic is impacting businesses.

The S&P 500 SPX fell 34.70 points to 4,458.58. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA lost 0.8% to 34,607.72. The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite COMP sank 0.9%, to 15,115.49.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note was steady at 1.33%.

U.S. inflation at the wholesale level climbed 8.3% last month from August 2020, the biggest annual gain since the Labor Department started calculating the 12-month number in 2010.

Federal Reserve policymakers have said they believe inflation this year would be temporary and is a result of the economy recovering from the pandemic. However, persistently high inflation could force the Fed’s hand to start pulling back on its bond-buying program and low interest rate policy sooner than anticipated.

The pandemic remains in the forefront of investors’ minds, as hospitals fill up in the South and other parts of the country. President Joe Biden announced Thursday that companies with more than 100 employees would be required to have their employees vaccinated or do weekly testing, an announcement big companies have been willing to embrace.

In other trading Monday, U.S. benchmark crude oil CLV21 added 39 cents to $70.11 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It jumped $1.58 to $69.72 per barrel on Friday.

Brent crude BRNX21, the international pricing standard, climbed 37 cents to $73.29 per barrel.

The U.S. dollar USDJPY edged up to 109.95 Japanese yen from 109.90 yen.

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