Asia shares set for sluggish start after Wall Street retreats from record highs By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man stands on an overpass with an electronic board showing Shanghai and Shenzhen stock indexes in Shanghai

By Chibuike Oguh

(Reuters) – Asia equities are set for a sluggish open on Wednesday after Wall Street pulled back from record highs reached in previous sessions, as investors eye the upcoming earnings season for more signs of a recovery following a series of strong U.S. economic data.

The three major Wall Street indexes closed lower on Tuesday, a day after the and the Dow rose to record levels driven by optimism from a greater-than-expected jobs report last Friday and data showing a dramatic rebound in the U.S. services industry on Monday.

Investors also weighed the latest U.S. job openings report, which showed on Tuesday that vacancies rose to a two-year high in February while hiring had its biggest gain in nine months amid increased COVID-19 vaccinations and additional government stimulus.

“We’ve had a few big up days in a row and I think markets are looking to a take a little bit of a pause here,” said Charlie Ripley, vice president of portfolio management at Allianz (DE:) Investment Management in Minnesota. “From an economic data perspective, we didn’t get too much information except for the jobs opening report and market pricing is reflecting that.”

{{178|Japan’s Ni fell 0.1%, while Australian rose 0.04%.

The International Monetary Fund raised its global growth forecast to 6% this year from 5.5%, reflecting a rapidly brightening outlook for the U.S. economy.

With upcoming earnings season expected to show S&P profit growth of 24.2% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv data, investors will be watching to see whether corporate results further confirm recent positive economic data.

“We’re heading into earnings season and we’ll get a better look of how companies performed in the first quarter even as we exit the pandemic,” Ripley said.

On Wall Street, the fell 0.29% to 33,430.24, the S&P 500 lost 0.10% to 4,073.94 and the dropped 0.05% to 13,698.38.

U.S. Treasury yields dipped, with 5-year notes leading the decline, on investor views that market pricing based on an earlier-than-expected tightening by the Fed was too aggressive.

Benchmark 10-year notes last rose 18/32 in price to yield 1.6578%, from 1.72% late on Monday.

The dollar slipped to a two-week low against a basket of world currencies, with traders taking advantage of its strong March performance as dropping Treasury yields pressured the greenback.

The fell 0.259%, with the euro down 0.05% to $1.1869. The Korean won strengthened 0.08% versus the greenback at 1,118.21 per dollar.

Crude oil prices partially rebounded from the previous session’s losses, lifted by strong data from the United States and China.

gained 1.16% to settle at $59.33 per barrel, and settled at $62.74 per barrel, up 0.95% on the day.

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