The US 10-year yields were last seen down 2.5 bps to 1.456%, slightly off the highs seen earlier in the day
US stocks closed lower overnight, as bond yields inched higher while fresh economic reports were mixed. The final reading for the U.S. services PMI index for February was 59.8, up from 58.3 in January and above the flash estimate of 58.9, with the pace of growth being the fastest since July 2014. ADP’s private-payroll data for February showed 117,000 jobs were created in the month, below the 225,000 forecast from economists. The ADP data comes ahead of the more closely followed nonfarm-payrolls report due on Friday. As such, the S&P 500 dropped 1.3%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.39%, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 2.70%.
Following suit, Asian markets were on the defensive on Thursday, suffering solid losses during the session as investors continued to express concerns over rising bond yields. Also, some cautiousness was ahead of Powell’s speech on monetary policy due later today. As a result, Japan’s Nikkei 225 lost 2.13%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 2.15%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.84%, while the Shanghai Composite index shed over 2.0%. 1.6%. South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.28% after the data showed that the country’s economy contracted last year for the first time since 1998.
European equities opened lower to start the day as the market is focused on how Treasuries are holding up. 10-year yields were last seen down 2.5 bps to 1.456%, slightly off the highs seen earlier in the day. On the data front, German construction PMI came in at 41.0 in February versus 46.6 in the previous month, adding to the negative tone in the regional markets. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.5% in early trading.
Meanwhile, the dollar regained its bullish bias following some hesitation earlier in the day, to finish higher across the board as risk sentiment looked unstable on Wednesday. EURUSD failed to reclaim the 20-DMA as support and gave up early gains. The pair closed around 1.2060 and could extend losses in the short term, as the common currency retains a bearish bias early on Thursday, threatening the 100-DMA that comes around 1.2027.