Asian stock markets closed the session in the red as investors weighed the words of Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who last Friday had not ruled out new rate hikes if needed, while stressing that monetary policy was "well routed into restrictive territory."
Tokyo lost 0.6 percent, Hong Kong gave up 1.1 percent, Shanghai and Shenzhen 0.3 percent while Seoul rose 0.1 percent and Sydney 0.7 percent. Futures were also mixed, with those on Europe slightly higher and those on US indices in a fractional decline.
After Wall Street challenged Powell on Friday, pricing in a rate cut in Fed swaps in May, stocks are more cautious today, Treasury yields are rising again and the dollar is also recovering some ground against other currencies. The general weakness of the greenback contributed to the rally of gold (+1.5% to $2,074 an ounce), which touched $2,135 overnight, marking a new all-time high.
On the energy front, oil fell just under 1%, with WTI falling to $73.41 and Brent to $78.18, with the market skeptical that the OPEC+ production cut would be able to rebalance the market and support prices. Gas also fell sharply, with TTF futures giving up 4.4 percent to 41.51 euros per megawatt hour
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