GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares loiter as S&P futures climb fresh peak

  • Reuters
  • Stock Market News
GLOBAL MARKETS-Asia shares loiter as S&P futures climb fresh peak
Credit: © Reuters.

* Asian stock markets :

* S&P futures eke out new peak, Nikkei lags

* Fed sticking to stimulus, Powell set to speak

* Treasury yields dip, leaving dollar aimless

By Wayne Cole

SYDNEY, April 8 (Reuters) - Asian share markets lagged on Thursday as U.S. stock futures nudged to another record high after the Federal Reserve underlined its commitment to keeping policy super loose even as the economy enjoys a rapid recovery.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was flat, and also little changed on the week.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 eased 0.3% and Chinese blue chips 0.1% .CSI300 , with trading very subdued.

The outperformance of the U.S. economy helped S&P 500 futures ESc1 add 0.3% to a new peak, while Nasdaq futures NQc1 gained 0.4%. EUROSTOXX 50 futures STXEc1 firmed 0.2% and FTSE futures FFIc1 0.3%.

Minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting showed members felt the economy was still far short of target and were in no rush to scale back their $120 billion a month of bond buying. Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at an IMF event later on Thursday and is likely to reiterate the dovish outlook.

"This discussion is consistent with our view that it will be later this year before the Fed starts talking about talking about tapering, with actual changes to the purchase pace not occurring until Q1 2022," said analysts at JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM ).

"Fed officials generally viewed the recent rise in longer-term Treasury yields as reflecting an improving outlook and some firming of inflation expectations, and not a risk to the outlook."

Yields on 10-year Treasuries US10YT=TWEB have since eased back a little to 1.667%, from the recent 14-month top of 1.776%, but have struggled to break under 1.59%.

The pullback coincided with a dip in the dollar index to 92.444 =USD , from its recent five-month high at 93.439. The dollar was likewise holding at 109.78 yen JPY= , having faded from its recent one-year peak of 110.96.

The euro was steady at $1.1868 EUR= , after reaching as high as $1.1914 overnight following a surprisingly upbeat survey of European Union business activity. virus and growth expectations have spurred consumer and business confidence, driving up both domestic and global demand for manufactured products," said analysts at Barclays (LON: BARC ) in a note.

"This phenomenon is broad-based across European economies."

In commodity markets, gold was idling at $1,736 an ounce XAU= after meeting resistance around $1,745.

Oil prices slipped, but were still within a narrow trading range that has held for the last two weeks or so. O/R

Brent LCOc1 fell 38 cents to $62.78 a barrel, while U.S. crude CLc1 lost 40 cents to $59.36 per barrel.

<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Asia stock markets Asia-Pacific valuations

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Aditional reporting by Chibuike Oguh; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa)

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