Asia shares to get a boost from easing of hedge fund default concerns

ASIAN shares were set to open higher on Tuesday as investors shook off earlier worries about a hedge fund default that roiled global banking stocks overnight, while rekindled concerns about inflation pushed bond yields higher.

The firmer tone in Asia comes as Wall Street pared earlier losses driven by the banking sector on fears that issues with a defaulting hedge fund could spread throughout the banking sector.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98.49 points or 0.3% to 33,171.37; the S&P 500 lost 3.45 points or 0.09% to 3,971.09 while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 79.08 points or 0.6% to 13,059.65.

Nomura and Credit Suisse are facing billions of dollars in losses and regulatory scrutiny after a US investment firm, named by sources as Archegos Capital, defaulted on equity derivative bets, putting investors on edge about who else might be exposed.

Shares in Nomura and Credit Suisse declined 16.3% and 13.8% respectively, on Monday.

In early Asian trade, however, Australian S&P/ASX 200 futures were up 0.44% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 futures had advanced 0.86%.

Michael McCarthy, chief markets strategist at CMC Markets said the worries “are very specific to a small number of hedge funds.” He said he did not expect any systemic fallout.

Still, the greenback gained on safe-haven buying, while bond prices came under pressure as the outlook for economic growth raised the spectre of inflation, he added.

Benchmark 10-year yields rose to a session high of 1.728% in the US after the state of New York on Monday announced people aged 30 and older could get coronavirus vaccinations starting March 30.

Crude prices inched up on a report that Russia would back broadly stable oil output when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies meet this week.

Futures had earlier fallen on news that a container ship in the Suez Canal blocking traffic for nearly a week had been refloated, bringing some relief to concerns about a supply blockage.

Optimism about speedy vaccinations, the record US stimulus, and robust estimates for upcoming earnings, drove the Dow and the S&P 500 to record closing highs last week. – March 30, 2021

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