Published: 14:13, April 17, 2024
Asian shares mixed as Fed's Powell rethinks rate cuts, yields jump
By Xinhjua

SYDNEY - Asian shares were mixed on Wednesday as the world's most powerful central banker had a change of heart on US rate cuts this year, pushing Treasury yields to new five-month highs and the dollar towering against other currencies.

The beleaguered yen is plumbing fresh 34-year lows on an almost daily basis. It was last steady at 154.62 per dollar as the risk of government intervention loomed, although so far there has been no action from Tokyo apart from verbal warnings.

The New Zealand dollar gained 0.4 percent to $0.5902 after first-quarter inflation data showed domestically driven inflation was surprisingly strong. Markets now see just 34 basis points in total easing this year, down from 60 bps a week ago.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan  rose 0.2 percent, after plunging more than 4 percent in the past three sessions.

Japan's Nikkei, however, dropped 0.7 percent to the lowest in two months. 

Wall Street stocks ended slightly lower on Tuesday, helped a little by still-robust corporate earnings. Two-year Treasury yields retested 5 percent overnight and were last at 4.9828 percent, while 10-years held near a five-month high at 4.6674 percent on diminishing expectations of Federal Reserve policy easing this year.