"This will be well received by Western leaders given inflation – and inflation expectations – remain eye wateringly high, and central banks try to raise rates at the risk of tipping their economies into a recession," said Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at City Index in Sydney.

"More supply essentially soothes some of those inflationary fears, even if there is a lot more work to do when it comes to fighting inflation."

Investors' worries over inflation and recession have festered amid uncertainty caused by the US Federal Reserve's pace of interest rate hikes, the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war on food and commodity prices, and supply chain constraints exacerbated by strict Covid-19 curbs in China.

On Wednesday, a survey showing stronger-than-expected US manufacturing activity in May did little to assuage those concerns. Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive of JPMorgan Chase & Co, likened the challenges facing the US economy to a "hurricane".

Rodrigo Catril, senior FX strategist at NAB, said details of the survey showed price signals "still consistent with extremely strong inflationary pressures" and negative employment growth in the manufacturing sector.

"The services sector is the big US employer so it will be important to see what the Services ISM reveals on Friday," he said.

A new survey of South Korean factory activity on Thursday showed slowing growth in May as import and export orders shrank, the latest indicator of global manufacturing woes.

In morning trade, MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was down 1 per cent. China's blue-chip index fell 0.45 per cent, Australian shares were down 0.90 per cent, and Seoul's was about 1 per cent lower.

In Tokyo, the Nikkei slid 0.26 per cent.

The Asian moves tracked weakness on Wall Street overnight, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.54 per cent, the S&P 500 lost 0.75 per cent and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.72 per cent.

While the stronger US manufacturing data did little to lift US shares, it supported the dollar.

In Asian trade, the global dollar index was steady at 102.56, while the yen firmed slightly to 130.05 per dollar as US yields inched lower from to week highs, and the euro edged up 0.05 per cent to $1.0651.

Benchmark US 10-year Treasury notes last yielded 2.9149 per cent, down from a US close of 2.931 per cent on Wednesday, while the two-year yield slipped to 2.6517 per cent from a close of 2.664 per cent.

The lower yields kept gold prices steady after hitting a two-week low on Wednesday. Spot gold was little changed at $1,845.08 per ounce.

Read more from Global
Post Comment