By Selena Li
HONG KONG (Reuters) – Asian shares fell on Tuesday, commodities shed recent gains from China’s reopening, and oil traded lower following hawkish comments from two U.S. Federal Reserve officials overnight, with investors turning cautious ahead of key inflation data.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.17%.
“The main theme overnight was cautiousness in the equity space as stocks pared gains after hawkish comments from two Fed officials. Raphael Bostic and Mary Daly said the Fed would likely hike (interest) rates to above 5% and hold them there for some time,” Commerzbank said in a client note.
The S&P500 index began the week on a bullish tone with a more than 1.4% increase in early U.S. trading on Monday before giving up all the gains to close a touch lower.
U.S. treasury notes and the U.S. dollar remained under pressure, with the yield on U.S. 10-year notes edging higher on Tuesday by 2.23 basis point to 3.5393%, from 3.517% late on Monday.
The dollar index stayed flat.
“Sentiment may turn more cautious ahead of the U.S. CPI (consumer price index) release on Thursday, dampening the ‘risk on’ trades initiated as a result of the optimism around China’s reopening,” Mizuho Bank said in a note.
If U.S. consumer price data confirms the cooling seen in the most recent monthly jobs report, Atlanta Fed Bank President Bostic said he would have to take a quarter point increase “more seriously and to move in that direction”.
China stocks on Tuesday snapped a six-session winning streak, while Hong Kong shares jumped to a six-month high. However, any optimism may be short-lived, said Trinh Nguyen, emerging Asia economist at Natixis in Hong Kong.
“I think what would temper a lot of this optimism coming up is really the reality of this opening up. Even in Hong Kong, although it is officially open, the visa issuance has been rather slow,” Nguyen said.
China’s benchmark edged up from earlier losses to gain 0.15%, while losses of Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index narrowed to 0.15%.
Prices of most base metals fell on Tuesday from recent rallies driven by top consumer China’s reopening, as traders gauged the risks of a global economic downturn and weak consumption.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.8% at $8,786 a tonne, as of 0422 GMT. Copper prices hit their highest in more than six months on Monday, while zinc climbed 5% on Monday to its highest since Dec. 15
Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.35%, bucking the regional trend.
Core consumer prices in Tokyo, released on Tuesday, rose a faster-than-expected 4.0% in December from a year earlier, underpinning market expectations that the Bank of Japan may phase out its massive stimulus by tweaking its yield curve control policy.
In Australia, shares lost 0.28%.
Oil edged lower on Tuesday on expectations of further Fed rate hikes.
U.S. crude fell 0.5% to $74.26 per barrel and Brent was at $79.20, down 0.56%.
Gold prices inched higher, adding 0.15% to $1,872.70 an ounce.
E-mini futures for the S&P 500 indicated a sluggish open with a 0.17% dip.
(Reporting by Selena Li; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)