By Jamie McGeever
(Reuters) – A look at the day ahead in Asian markets from Jamie McGeever, financial markets columnist.
Asian markets on Tuesday might take heart from Wall Street’s impressive late show on Monday, but with the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields continuing their relentless march higher, the bigger picture looks much more ominous.
Add to that another wave of turbulence to rock the Chinese property sector and the yen sliding closer to 150 per dollar with still no intervention from Japanese authorities, and caution will probably suppress whatever risk appetite investors have.
Global shares, as measured by the MSCI World Index, may only have dipped less than 0.2% on Monday but it marked the seventh decline in a row, the index’s worst run since late August-early September last year.
The MSCI Asia ex-Japan index also fell by a heftier 0.7%.
Wall Street’s three main indexes rose, however, and the S&P 500 and Nasdaq’s gains of 0.4% were particularly impressive given the latest leap in U.S. bond yields to new multi-year highs.
The back end of the U.S. yield curve is where the action is – the 10-year yield rose 10 basis points on Monday to 4.55%, the highest since 2007. As analysts at Deutsche Bank note, this is also historically significant territory – the 10-year yield’s average going back to 1799 is around 4.50%.
The 10-year inflation-adjusted ‘real’ U.S. Treasury yield is also breaking new ground, climbing further above the 2% level. Analysts at Barclays point out that rising long-term U.S. real rates, especially after a Fed policy meeting, put emerging market currencies under near blanket pressure.
This largely played out on Monday – China’s yuan slid back to a two-week low – and the dollar’s broad value against a basket of major currencies hit its highest since November.
The basic ingredients of a tightening in emerging market financial conditions are in place, and this is exactly what is underway. Goldman Sachs’ financial conditions indexes for China and emerging markets at large are the highest in almost a year.
In China, meanwhile, the property sector is back under the spotlight after shares of property developer Evergrande tumbled 21% on Monday on renewed uncertainty about the firm’s debt restructuring. The broader property sector index fell 2.5%.
Evergrande shares are virtually worthless, but the company is systemically important – it is the world’s most indebted developer and the property sector accounts for roughly a quarter of China’s economy.
Recent headlines surrounding China’s trade disputes with major trading partners like the U.S. and European Union have been mostly negative, but there appears to be some progress in EU-China talks between EU trade commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis and officials in Beijing, even if they are only baby steps.
Here are key developments that could provide more direction to markets on Tuesday:
– Japan services PPI inflation (August)
– Singapore manufacturing output (August)
– Fed’s Neel Kashkari speaks
(By Jamie McGeever; Editing by Josie Kao)