By Andrew Galbraith
SHANGHAI, May 13 (Reuters) – Asian shares trimmed losses on Friday after a volatile session for U.S. equities, while the dollar hovered near 20-year highs as investors continued to digest worries about persistently high inflation and tightening central bank policy.
Those concerns ultimately overcame hopes on Wall Street that high inflation might be peaking, pushing the S&P 500 close to confirming a bear market on Thursday, at nearly 20% off its January all-time high. .N
In an interview later in the day, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that the battle to control inflation would “include some pain”. And he repeated his expectation of half-percentage-point interest rate rises at each of the Fed’s next two policy meetings, while pledging that “we’re prepared to do more”. nL2N2X433H
But after sharp losses a day earlier, Asian shares bounced higher on Friday morning.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was up 1.5% from Thursday’s 22-month closing low, trimming its losses for the week to around 3%.
Australian shares .AXJO were up 1.53%, while Japan’s Nikkei stock index .N225 jumped 2.61%.
In China, the blue-chip CSI300 index .CSI300 was up 0.41% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng .HSI rose 2.21%.
“We had some pretty big moves yesterday, and when you see those big moves it’s only natural to get some retracement, especially since it’s Friday heading into the weekend. There’s not really a new narrative that’s come through, ” said Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at City Index.
“I think there comes that point where you run out of sellers. I’m not really certain that this is going to be a buying rally at the moment, possibly a short-covering rally ahead of the weekend.”
The moves higher in equities were mirrored in slipping U.S. Treasuries, with the benchmark U.S. 10-year yield US10YT=RR edging up to 2.8895% from a close of 2.817% on Thursday.
The policy-sensitive 2-year yield US2YT=RR was at 2.5941%, up from a close of 2.522%.
“Within the shape of the U.S. Treasury curve we are not seeing any particularly fresh recession/slowdown signal, just the same consistent marked slowing earmarked for H2 2023,” Alan Ruskin, macro strategist at Deutsche Bank, said in a note.
The U.S. dollar remained near 20-year highs, supported by safe haven demand as Russia bristled over Finland’s plan to apply for NATO membership, with Sweden potentially following suit.
Moscow called Finland’s announcement hostile and threatened retaliation, including unspecified “military-technical” measures. nL3N2X50DC
The dollar index =USD, which tracks it against a basket of currencies of other major trading partners, edged down about 0.1% to 104.64. But the greenback was stronger against the yen JPY= , which traded at 128.95 per dollar after hitting a two-week peak of 127.5 hit overnight.
The European single currency EUR= was 0.15% firmer at $1.0395 after trading lower earlier in the day.
Cryptocurrency bitcoin BTC=BTSP also turned higher, cracking through $30,000 after the collapse of TerraUSD, a so-called stablecoin, drove it to a 16-month low of around $25,400 on Thursday. nL3N2X50I7
In commodities markets, oil prices were higher against the backdrop of a pending European Union ban on Russian oil, but were still set for their first weekly loss in three weeks, hit by concerns over inflation and China’s COVID lockdowns slowing global growth.
U.S. crude CLc1 ticked up 1.28% to $107.49 a barrel, and global benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 1.5% at $109.06 per barrel.
Spot gold XAU=, which had been driven to a three-month low by the soaring dollar, was up 0.23% at $1,825.86 per ounce. GOL/
(Reporting by Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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