GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks set to firm after Dow hits record

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian stocks set to firm after Dow hits record
Credit: © Reuters.

* E-mini futures for S&P 500 up 0.2%

* CPI data shows underlying inflation muted

* Treasury yields slide on tepid 10-year auction demand

* Dow Jones closes at record high

By Matt Scuffham

NEW YORK, March 10 (Reuters) - Asian stocks were set to open slightly higher, following Wall Street's momentum, after a report on U.S. consumer prices calmed concerns about inflation, helping steer the Dow Jones Industrial Average to a record close.

{{178|Japan's Ni Nikkei 225 futures NKc1 added 0.02%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index futures .HIS HSIc1 rose 0.03%.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO gained 0.12% in early trading. E-mini futures for the S&P 500 EScv1 rose 0.24%.

"I do think we'll see good support for Asian markets today across the region," said Michael McCarthy, chief markets strategist at CMC Markets. "The reflation trade is back on. We saw bonds and stocks rallying together and a slight easing in the U.S. dollar, which also indicates improving sentiment."

The U.S. Labor Department said its consumer price index rose 0.4% in February, in line with expectations, after a 0.3% increase in January. Core CPI, which excludes volatile food and energy components, edged up 0.1%, just shy of the 0.2% estimate. analysts largely expect a hike in inflation as vaccine rollouts lead to a reopening of the economy, worries persist that additional stimulus in the form of a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package set to be signed by U.S. President Joe Biden could lead to an overheating of the economy.

The House of Representatives gave final approval on Wednesday to the bill, one of the largest economic stimulus measures in U.S. history. Treasury yields slid Wednesday after an auction of benchmark 10-year notes that showed tepid demand with lower-than-average bid-to-cover ratio. 10-year notes US10YT=RR last fell 2/32 in price to yield 1.5265%, from 1.52% late on Wednesday.

Investors will now eye an auction of 30-year debt on Thursday, seeking to cover massive shorts. A weak seven-year auction in late February helped fuel inflation concerns and sent yields higher. fall in the 10-year yield after the auction wasn't enough to help the tech-heavy Nasdaq, which lagged both the Dow and the S&P 500 after its strong move on Tuesday, as investors stayed with names expected to benefit from the economic reopening like financials.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 1.45% to a record closing high, the S&P 500 .SPX gained 0.60% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 0.04%.

Europe's main index hovered near pre-pandemic highs.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe .MIWD00000PUS gained 0.09%.

Gold erased earlier losses to hit a one-week high on Wednesday, as U.S. Treasury yields eased.

Spot gold prices XAU= rose $0.1234 or 0.01%, to $1,726.17 an ounce. U.S. gold futures GCv1 settled 0.3% up at $1,721.80.

The dollar moved lower following the economic data.

The dollar index =USD fell 0.21%, with the euro EUR= down 0.01% to $1.1924.

Oil prices resumed their climb after two days of declines, after the Energy Information Administration reported a bigger-than-expected storage build. crude futures CLc1 settled at $64.44 per barrel, up 43 cents or 0.67%. Brent crude futures LCOc1 settled at $67.90 per barrel, up 38 cents or 0.56%.

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