Asian stocks were confused early on Tuesday as traders weighed up a record run in the S&P 500 against concerns that the delta virus variant will choke global growth.
Shares rose in Japan but fell in Australia and South Korea, while US stock futures fell. The S&P 500 closed overnight at a new all-time high — doubling from its March 2020 pandemic low — with advances in healthcare and utilities.
Singapore-traded SGX Nifty, an early indicator of the performance of the Nifty 50 Index in India, had changed little at 07:10 at 16,549.
Mobility restrictions to combat the delta tax, signs of a slowing recovery from the pandemic in China and Beijing’s regulatory crackdown on private companies continue to color the market mood in Asia. In the US, Gary Gensler, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, issued his most direct warning yet about the risks of investing in Chinese companies.
Government bond yields fell. Traders await a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday and the Jackson Hole symposium in late August for clues about when and how the central bank might wind down stimulus.
Elsewhere, the price of oil has fallen and gold has maintained a recent rally. Bitcoin traded around $45,500.