(Bloomberg) — Stocks in Asia headed for a muted open Tuesday and US equity futures inched lower in a sign of further caution among investors weighing the prospect that central banks will have to tighten policy settings more than expected to tame inflation.

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Share futures for Australia and Japan fell slightly while those for Hong Kong stocks edged moderately higher. Contracts for the S&P 500 fell, indicating further downward pressure for US stocks after declines on Thursday and Friday. US equity and bond markets markets were closed for a US holiday Monday.

The dollar was flat, extending a run of range-bound trading over the past week. Treasury futures, which did trade Monday, fell slightly.

Ed Yardeni, chief investment strategist of his eponymous research firm, placed a 40% chance of a soft landing for the US economy, the highest odds among four potential scenarios facing markets this year.

“We see the greatest odds of a soft landing in which inflation moderates, the Treasury bond remains below last year’s peak, and the S&P 500 ends the year at a new high,” he said in a Tuesday note.

Benchmark 10-year yields on New Zealand government bonds rose in early trading Tuesday while Australian yields were flat. The Australian dollar gained 0.5% against the greenback Monday, helped along by a further gain for the price of iron ore, which is at the highest level since June.

BHP, one of the world’s largest iron ore producers, reported a decline in half-year profits Monday alongside higher costs and softer commodity prices, which partly reflected the chill caused by China’s now softened Covid-Zero policy.

The New Zealand dollar strengthened ahead of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s rate-setting meeting Wednesday, when the central bank is anticipated to increase the cash rate by 50 basis points to 4.75%. The country is assessing the damage of a destructive cyclone.

Investors will be keeping a close eye on mainland China stocks after the CSI 300 benchmark posted its best one-day gain since November. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. strategists said in a research note Monday prior to the start of trading that the benchmark could surge more than a fifth from current levels this year.

The oil price rose on continuing hopes that China’s reopening will spur activity. Demand from China will climb by 800,000 barrels a day in 2023, according to the median estimate of 11 China-focused consultants surveyed by Bloomberg News. That would take consumption to an all-time high of about 16 million barrels a day, the survey showed.

Investors also awaited clues on US consumer demand as Walmart Inc. and Home Depot Inc. were set to kick off a slew of retail earnings reports this week.

Key events this week:

  • Earnings for the week are scheduled to include: Alibaba, Anglo American, AXA, BAE Systems, Baidu, BASF, BHP, Danone, Deutsche Telekom, Holcim, Home Depot, Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing, HSBC, Iberdrola, Lloyds Banking Group, Moderna, Munich Re, Newmont, Nvidia, Rio Tinto, Walmart, Warner Bros Discovery

  • PMIs for Japan, Eurozone, UK, US, Tuesday

  • US existing home sales, Tuesday

  • US MBA mortgage applications, Wednesday

  • The Federal Reserve minutes from Jan. 31-Feb. 1 policy meeting, Wednesday

  • Eurozone CPI, Thursday

  • US GDP, initial jobless claims, Thursday

  • Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic speaks, Thursday

  • G-20 finance ministers and central bank governors meet in India, Thursday-Friday

  • Japan CPI, Friday

  • BOJ governor-nominee Kazuo Ueda appears before Japan’s lower house, Friday

Some of the main moves in markets as of 7:31 a.m. Tokyo time:


  • Nikkei 225 futures fell 0.2%

  • Hang Seng futures rose 0.2%

  • S&P/ASX 200 futures fell 0.4%


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed

  • The euro was unchanged at $1.0686

  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 134.27 per dollar

  • The offshore yuan was little changed at 6.8598 per dollar


  • Bitcoin fell 0.2% to $24,728.52

  • Ether fell 0.2% to $1,698.42



This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

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