Asia markets are set to open lower following a negative close in the US markets overnight. Wall Street gave up early gains and closed at session lows after US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell signaled a 0.5% rate hike on the table in early May. US bond yields jumped on Powell’s comments as bond traders priced in further aggressive tightening moves by the Fed.
SPI futures slid 0.86%, pointing to a lower open in the ASX. The benchmark index is hovering around an 8-month high, with mining stocks under pressure, while big banks are holding strongly amid rising rates. BHP Group (BHP) shares dipped 3% after the company stated that iron ore and nickel volumes dropped amid multiple issues caused by the pandemic. Notably, Qantas Airways soared to a 5-month high, supported by global optimism toward reopening borders and the US airlines’ positive outlook for open travel.
The NZX 50 fell 0.3% at the open and may be subject to headwinds in today’s session after the country recorded a 22-year high annual inflation of 6.90% despite a lower read than expected. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is most likely to continue its aggressive approach to rate hikes. At the same time, Auckland Airport has been outperforming amid optimism toward recovering in tourism as the border reopens.
By Michael Saichuk