Stocks were mixed Wednesday and Treasury yields declined as traders weighed economic risks from tighter monetary policy while awaiting key U.S. data as well as the latest Federal Reserve minutes. A climb in Treasuries unwound some of their overnight slide. The prospect of the Fed reducing stimulus more quickly to fight price pressures has tempered bond market inflation expectations, though they remain historically elevated. Our focus today turns to U.S. FOMC minutes, consumer income, wholesale inventories, new home sales, GDP, initial jobless claims, U.S. durable goods, and University of Michigan consumer sentiment all due out Wednesday.
Most Asian stocks fell Wednesday as the dollar and Treasury yields declined as traders weighed economic risks from tighter monetary policy while awaiting key U.S. data as well as the latest Federal Reserve minutes. MSCI Inc.’s Asia-Pacific share gauge fell for a third day, sapped by Japan. Japan’s Topix index was down 1.2%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 0.5% while China’s Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.1%.
Crude oil prices gained as a planned coordinated release of strategic reserves by the U.S. and other nations fell short of expectations. The U.S. move to shoulder the bulk of oil sales in a joint reserves release is making its crude cheaper, bringing it closer to being viable for Asian customers to opt for American cargoes over Middle Eastern supplies. Some analysts say that the release of the oil reserves may not necessarily bring down oil prices, but it may serve as a message to OPEC. The benchmark U.S. crude eventually did rise 5 cents to $78.55/bbl. Brent crude BRNF22, +0.53%, the international standard, shed 21 cents to $81.12/bbl.
Beninese authorities and staff of Washington-based International Monetary Fund discussed recent economic developments and policy priorities to inform future Fund-supported program, during in-person and virtual meetings between Nov. 15–23, IMF said in statement. Benin completed a three-year Extended Credit Facility arrangement with IMF in May 2020, worth about $255 million, including the augmentation of access of $103 million at the onset of Covid-19.