Stocks struggle as US jobs dry up, kiwi leaps on RBNZ surprise
Stocks struggled to make headway on Wednesday, the dollar nursed losses and bonds clung to gains, as signs of a slowing U.S. labour market made investors nervous about the economic outlook, while a bigger-than-expected rate hike lifted the kiwi dollar.
Asia trade was thinned by holidays in Hong Kong and China, leaving MSCI’s Asia-Pacific index excluding Japan (.MIAPJ0000PUS) faring little better than flat, while Japan’s Nikkei (.N225) fell 1%.
Overnight a four-day winning streak for Wall Street indexes ended, with all three major indexes dropping, and interest rate expectations were dialled down after data showed U.S. job openings hit their lowest level in nearly two years in February.
Two-year treasury yields , which closely track short-term rate expectations, dived almost 15 basis points and the dollar tracked the move to hit two-month troughs.
“The market’s odds of a recession have increased,” said Jamie Dimon, chief executive of the United States’ biggest bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, in a letter to shareholders, warning the confidence fears that have rattled banks have not dissipated.
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