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Asian Stocks Down as Investors Digest U.S. Debt Ceiling Drama

Stock MarketsSep 29, 2021 12:38
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© Reuters.

By Gina Lee

Investing.com – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down on Wednesday morning after their U.S. equivalents recorded their worst day since May 2021 and bond yields climbed on concerns about inflation.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 2.55% by 10:27 PM ET (2:27 AM GMT), with the incumbent Liberal Democratic Party to elect a leader, who could become the country’s next prime minister, on Wednesday.

South Korea’s KOSPI slid 1.91% and in Australia, the ASX 200 fell 1.32%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rose 1.20%.

China’s Shanghai Composite fell 1.06% and the Shenzhen Component slid 1.16%, with the manufacturing, non-manufacturing and Caixin manufacturing purchasing managers indexes due on Thursday.

Meanwhile, China Evergrande Group (HK:3333) faces its latest bond interest payment interest on Wednesday, with no signs that it has cleared an earlier payment that was due during the previous week.

In Washington D.C, concerns are mounting about a debt-ceiling impasse after Republicans in the Senate blocked a Democrat move to raise the debt limit.

In their testimonies before a Senate Banking Committee hearing, both U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that a default due to a failure to raise the debt ceiling would have catastrophic consequences. The pair will also testify before a House Banking Committee hearing on Thursday.

The S&P 500 closed 2% lower, the most since May 2021, and the Nasdaq 100 fell the most since March 2021. The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield also continued upwards and the yield on the 30-year note earlier jumped almost 10 basis points.

The developments in Washington come as energy costs are soaring due to a power crunch in China and the Fed is likely to begin asset tapering soon.

“What we got here is a stock market that finally looks vulnerable as Treasury yields surge, oil prices look like they could easily hit $90 a barrel, and as supply chain issues show no signs of easing,” OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya told Bloomberg.

“There is a lot of drama happening on Wall Street and most of it has to do with a reset of inflation expectations.”

Meanwhile, central bank chiefs, including the Bank of England’s Andrew Bailey, the Bank of Japan’s Haruhiko Kuroda, the European Central Bank (ECB)’s Christine Lagarde, and Powell will participate in an ECB Forum panel later in the day.

On the data front, the U.S. Conference Board (CB) Consumer Confidence index was at 109.3 in September, a third consecutive month of falls.

Asian Stocks Down as Investors Digest U.S. Debt Ceiling Drama
 

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