(Bloomberg) — Stocks fell Monday as the risk of a slower recovery from the pandemic shadowed global markets and Chinese technology stocks buckled under the weight of Beijing’s regulatory clampdown.
A Hong Kong gauge of Chinese tech names tumbled after a report that officials are seeking to break up Ant Group Co.’s Alipay. China’s online platforms have also been told to protect the rights of workers in the so-called gig economy. China’s overall stock market fluctuated, while Japan slipped.
U.S. futures struggled to make gains after last week’s S&P 500 drop, signaling caution over reopening challenges from the delta virus strain. Oil rose to about $70 a barrel and aluminum rallied. Commodity markets are having a tough time balancing strong demand with sticky supply, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said.
Treasury yields pared an advance as traders assess price pressures and their impact on the likely timeline for a reduction in Federal Reserve stimulus. An update on U.S. consumer prices this week will feed into the debate about whether or not elevated costs are transient. The dollar was little changed.
The ongoing march of Covid-19 even as vaccine rollouts accelerate is undermining confidence in the economic recovery and contributing to supply-shock inflation. Key central banks are also getting closer to paring pandemic-era stimulus, posing risks for financial markets.
“Risk assets will continue to struggle in the near term with weak hard data due to the delta outbreak and supply disruptions over the summer,” Barclays Plc strategists including Shinichiro Kadota wrote in a note. But the Barclays team said it is wary of turning too bearish as progress toward containing the virus will likely eventually bolster growth prospects.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion tax-and-spending plan faces challenges. Democrat Senator Joe Manchin has cast doubt on the timeline for pushing Biden’s economic agenda through Congress, and proposed tax rates may be watered down to boost the chances of the package being passed.
In the latest tapering comments, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker said he’s supportive of moving toward a tapering process “sooner rather than later,” according to a report.
Elsewhere, North Korea ratcheted up tensions on the Korean Peninsula with a missile test. The won was the weakest performer in an Asian basket. Traders were also monitoring the latest Covid-19 outbreak in China.
In key company news, Epic Games Inc. filed a notice of appeal in its closely watched antitrust lawsuit against Apple Inc.
Here are some events to watch this week:
OPEC monthly oil market report, MondayU.S. consumer-price index, TuesdayApple product-launch event, TuesdayChina retail sales, property prices, industrial production, WednesdayQuadruple witching day for U.S. markets, Friday
For more market analysis, read our MLIV blog.
Some of the main moves in markets:
S&P 500 futures rose 0.2% as of 12:05 p.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 fell 0.8% FridayNasdaq 100 contracts were little changed. The Nasdaq 100 fell 0.8%Japan’s Topix index fell 0.2%Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index rose 0.3%South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.1%Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index lost 1.9%China’s Shanghai Composite Index shed 0.1%
The Japanese yen traded at 109.95 per dollarThe offshore yuan was at 6.4500 per dollarThe Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was steadyThe euro was at $1.1804
The yield on 10-year Treasuries fell one basis point to 1.33%Australia’s 10-year bond yield rose four basis points to 1.26%
West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.6% to $70.13 a barrelGold was at $1,790.49 an ounce
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