TOKYO, June 13 — Asian stocks sank on Monday and bond yields ticked higher, as red-hot US inflation reignited worries about even more aggressive Federal Reserve policy tightening, and a Covid-19 warning from Beijing added to concerns about global growth.
The dollar hit ¥135 for the first time in two decades, buoyed by a rise in Treasury yields that continued into Tokyo trading, with the 10-year US10YR=RR reaching a more than one-month peak of 3.201 per cent, putting it just two-tenths of a basis point from the highest since November 2018.
Beijing’s most populous district of Chaoyang announced on Sunday three rounds of mass testing to quell a “ferocious” Covid-19 outbreak that emerged at a bar in a nightlife and shopping area last week, spurring concern of more growth-strangling lockdowns only a short time after the city relaxed curbs to quell an outbreak from April.
Meanwhile, the US consumer price index increased a bigger-than-expected 8.6 per cent last month, the largest year-on-year increase since December 1981, Labour Department figures showed Friday.
That dashed hopes that inflation had peaked, and instead put markets on alert that the Fed may tighten policy for too long and cause a sharp economic slowdown. The next policy decision comes on Wednesday.
“The inflation data are game changers that force the Fed to switch to a higher gear, front-loading policy tightening,” Jefferies strategist Aneta Markowska wrote in a research note, lifting a call for this week’s decision to a 75 basis point hike.
Meanwhile, crude oil dropped more than US$2 on worries about global growth. Brent crude futures fell US$2.06, or 1.7 per cent, to US$119.95 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude was at US$118.54 a barrel, down US$2.13, or 1.8 per cent. — Reuters
source: Malay Mail