The Nasdaq 100 underperformed amid a selloff in tech names as Treasury yields climbed for a second day Tuesday. Treasuries were steady after yields rose amid increasing conviction the Federal Reserve will raise rates at least three times beginning in May to counter price pressures. The yield curve steepened as yields on long maturities also climbed amid heavy supply of new corporate bonds. U.S. December payroll data and minutes from the Fed’s meeting last month may throw more light this week on the potential pace of rate hikes. The S&P 500 was little changed at the close of trading while the Nasdaq 100 fell 1.33% to 15,622.72 after a day of choppy trading, the DOW did rise 0.6% to close at 36,799.65.
European stock markets are expected to open marginally lower Wednesday, handing back some of the recent gains with higher U.S. Treasury yields weighing on the tech sector. European indexes had started the new year on the front foot, with the pan-European STOXX 600 index climbing to an all-time high amid optimism about the global economic recovery. This comes as much of Europe struggles to contain the latest wave of Covid-19 cases. Data releases in Europe on Wednesday center around final PMI data for the Eurozone’s services and manufacturing industries in December, which may provide early signals of the problems Omicron has caused.
Most stocks in Asia dropped Wednesday with technology share declining as investors fret about interest rates increases. Treasuries held losses. An index of tech shares in Hong Kong fell to the lowest since May 2020 as firms backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd. came under pressure as it pares investment in the sector amid Beijing’s regulatory crackdown. South Korea and China also dropped along with U.S. futures. Japan edged higher. Hong Kong is imposing strict new virus control measures for the first time in almost a year as the highly transmissible omicron variant seeps into the community and threatens to spur a winter wave. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 NIK was a little changed in morning trading, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 XJO dipped 0.3%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng HIS shed 0.9%, while the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP lost 0.8%.
Oil prices stabilized Wednesday as traders digested rising U.S. crude stockpiles at the same time as a group of top producers gradually lifted global output. Data from the American Petroleum Institute, released on Tuesday, showed a draw of 6.4 million barrels of crude for the week ended Dec. 31, significantly more than expected, while gasoline inventories rose by a hefty 7.1 million barrels. U.S. crude oil supply data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration are due later Wednesday.