TOKYO (AP) — Asian shares were mostly higher Tuesday as a surge in U.S. bond yields pushed the value of the dollar higher against other major currencies.
KEEPING SCORE: Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 gained 0.7 percent in morning trading to 22,236.53, helped by the weaker yen. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.5 percent to 5,916.40, and South Korea’s Kospi lost 0.3 percent to 2,467.81. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 1.1 percent to 30,580.16, while the Shanghai Composite jumped 2.2 percent to 3,131.52, recouping losses from the previous day. Shares were mixed in Southeast Asia.
WALL STREET: Shares yielded early gains to end nearly unchanged. The S&P 500 index ended almost flat at 2,670.29. The Dow Jones industrial average fell less than 0.1 percent to 24,448.69. The Nasdaq composite gave up 0.2 percent to 7,128.60. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks declined 0.1 percent, to 1,562.12.
U.S. BOND YIELDS: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note drew close to 3 percent on Monday, a milestone it has not reached since January 2014. It touched 2.98 percent but by early Tuesday in Asia had fallen back to 2.96 percent. The 10-year yield stood at 2.43 percent at the end of 2017. Since the global financial crisis in 2008-09, a combination of low inflation expectations and a bond-buying program by the Federal Reserve have helped keep bond yields low but they have climbed this year as inflation has picked up and the Federal Reserve raised interest rates. With the Fed no longer buying bonds and investors expecting greater inflation, analysts say higher yields could make bonds more attractive than stocks. They also make U.S. dollars relatively more attractive.
THE QUOTE: “The U.S. dollar has put on a compelling show overnight as the stars align on the back of higher U.S. yields and a considerable reduction in the U.S. dollar’s geopolitical risk premium as an outwardly calmer mood surrounding trade and geopolitical risk takes hold,” Stephen Innes of OANDA said in a commentary.
ENERGY: Benchmark U.S. crude oil gained 29 cents to $68.93 a barrel. It rose 0.4 percent to $68.64 a barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, gained 22 cents to $74.93 per barrel in London.
CURRENCIES: The dollar rose to 108.77 yen from 108.71 yen. The euro fell to $1.2213 from $1.2233.
AP Markets Writer Marley Jay, who contributed to this report, can be reached at http://twitter.com/MarleyJayAP
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Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama
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