TOKYO, March 13 2018 : Asian stocks stalled today as Wall Street shares lost steam, while the dollar sagged on the back of declining U.S. yields.
Investors were focused on U.S. inflation data due later in the day (1230 GMT) for clues on the pace of Federal Reserve interest rate rises this year.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was little changed by mid-morning.
But a mixed performance by U.S. shares overnight cooled investor risk appetite in Asia.
Some market participants say a political scandal engulfing Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government is raising doubts about his ability to pursue economic reform, undermining stock market sentiment.
Australian shares lost 0.7 percent , while Shanghai dipped 0.1 percent .SSEC.
“Concerns towards trade conflict stemming from U.S. tariffs continue to linger in the background, capping risk appetite, pushing Treasury yields lower which in turn weighing on the dollar,” said Junichi Ishikawa, senior FX strategist at IG Securities in Tokyo.
“That said, there are still bright spots that bode well for broader risk sentiment, as the Nasdaq’s gains shows.”
Separately, U.S. President Donald Trump yesterday blocked Singapore-based semiconductor maker Broadcom Ltd’s (AVGO.O) takeover bid of Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) on grounds of national security, ending what would have been the technology industry’s biggest deal ever.
The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was flat at 89.891 after shedding about 0.2 percent overnight.
The euro was a shade higher at $1.2337 EUR=, adding to overnight gains of 0.25 percent.
The U.S. currency was down 0.05 percent at 106.350 yen JPY= as the renewed political scandal in Japan pushed it off last week’s peak above 107.00.
The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield stood little changed at 2.877 percent. The yield declined by 2.5 basis points overnight.
In commodities, crude oil prices extended losses after sliding the previous day amid ongoing concerns over rising U.S. output.