Green Asia

US yields revisit highs, Asia stocks sag on hawkish Fed angst

Westpac strategists see risks skewed toward even higher yields in the near term, pulling up the dollar as well.

“We view the recalibration of the 2024 rate cut profile, with no cuts before mid-year, as far more realistic than it has been for some time,” they wrote in a client note.

“We expect 10-year yields to establish a new, higher, yield range in coming weeks,” with a possible peak around 4.75 per cent, they said. “Medium term, we would be looking to get long at some stage, but that time is not yet upon us.”

The next target for the dollar index is 107.20, they said.

Chicago Fed President Austan Goolsbee said on Monday that inflation staying entrenched above the central bank’s 2 per cent target remains a bigger risk than tight Fed policy slowing the economy more than needed.

The Fed surprised markets last week by suggesting more tightening may be in the pipeline, and projected high rates to stay in place for longer than investors had anticipated.

The European Central Bank and Bank of England have also touted higher rates for longer in policy meetings since the middle of the month.

The relative outperformance of the US economy – with investors increasingly betting on a soft landing while growth in the eurozone and Britain stagnate – has buoyed the dollar against those currencies.

The euro sagged 0.05 per cent to US$1.05855, approaching the overnight low of US$1.0575, a level last seen in mid-March.

Sterling slipped 0.05 per cent to US$1.22065, taking it back toward Monday’s six-month low of US$1.21945.

The dollar also held near an 11-month peak of 148.97 yen from overnight, raising the risk of intervention by Japanese authorities.

Gold was little changed at around US$1,915, after slumping from above US$1,947 over the past week.

Crude oil remained weak amid concerns that fuel demand will be crimped by major central banks holding interest rates higher for longer, even with supply expected to be tight.

Brent crude futures were down 11 cents at US$93.18 a barrel, and US West Texas Intermediate crude futures were trading 1 cent lower at US$89.67.

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