Le Pays De France - Asia tracks Wall St losses on Fed tightening concerns

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Asia tracks Wall St losses on Fed tightening concerns
Asia tracks Wall St losses on Fed tightening concerns

Asia tracks Wall St losses on Fed tightening concerns

Asian stocks opened with losses on Monday, as unease lingered over tightening monetary policy by the Fed and investors awaited earnings reports by retailers due this week.

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Wall Street stocks mostly fell Friday. Both the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq retreated as the yield on the 10-year US Treasury note climbed above 2.7 percent, a signal markets are preparing for more tightening as the Federal Reserve battles inflation.

The losses continued Monday in Tokyo, as well as in Hong Kong and Shanghai where the main indexes lost more than two percent.

Taipei and Seoul were also down, while Sydney and Jakarta posted slight gains.

"Stocks are soft at the Monday open on increasing evidence the Federal Reserve will take a more committed approach to its monetary policy inflation-fighting stance," said Stephen Innes at SPI Asset Management.

"However, markets have been surprisingly resilient as discussions under the surface debated whether this week's US March CPI data will hint at the peak of the inflation cycle and help the Fed's chance to better engineer a soft landing, however narrow that path may seem."

And Takashi Hiroki, chief strategist of Monex, added: "Focus this week is on the US and Chinese consumer price indexes for March," among other data, to glean clues on the Fed's monetary policy and that of other central banks.

The US central bank has recently taken a hawkish tone as it embarks on an aggressive tightening path, prompting traders to fret over the prospect of higher interest rates.

The euro climbed as much as 0.7 percent against the dollar before paring the gain, suggesting some relief over the French election but ongoing wariness.

Investors had fretted about the implications of a victory for President Emmanuel Macron's nationalist rival Marine Le Pen in the midst of the war in Ukraine, given her long-standing sympathies for Russia.

Macron was set to beat Le Pen in the first round of elections Sunday by a larger-than-expected margin, the two candidates advancing to a run-off later this month.

"Make no mistake: nothing is decided," Macron told supporters.

- Key figures around 0230 GMT -

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.71 percent at 26,793.46 (break)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: DOWN 2.59 percent at 21,305.79

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 2.38 percent at 4,129.91

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 2.87 percent at $99.91 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 2.91 percent at $95.35 per barrel

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0877 from $1.0910 Friday

Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.3025 from $1.3081

Euro/pound: UP at 83.51 pence from 83.41 pence

Dollar/yen: UP at 124.34 yen from 123.63 yen

New York - Dow: UP 0.4 percent at 34,721.12 (close)

London - FTSE 100: UP 1.6 percent at 7,669.56 (close)

-- Bloomberg News contributed to this report --