Asian Stocks Down, Investors Digest Disappointing Coinbase Listing By

© Reuters.

By Gina Lee – Asia Pacific stocks were mostly down Thursday morning after U.S. shares closed below record highs as investors digested cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global Inc.’s (NASDAQ:) uneven Nasdaq debut.

Japan’s inched down 0.03% by 11:03 PM ET (3:03 AM GMT), with the government reportedly considering the Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures neighboring Tokyo, as well as Aichi prefecture, as areas requiring stricter COVID-19 measures should their governors apply for the implementation of a quasi-state of emergency.

South Korea’s was up 0.25%, with the Bank of Korea keeping its unchanged at 0.5% as it handed down its policy decision earlier in the day.

In Australia, the edged up 0.11% while Hong Kong’s fell 1.04%.

China’s slid 1.14% while the fell 1.08%. Investors are also monitoring the selloff in China Huarong Asset Management Co. Ltd. (HK:) bonds, which pushed investment-grade spreads higher. The People’s Bank of China also drained liquidity from the system earlier in the day.

Data on China’s , and is due on Friday. The U.S. will also release data including and later in the day.

slipped back below its opening price after soaring above a $112 billion valuation earlier in its debut on Wednesday. Fellow cryptocurrency also tumbled from its record high touched earlier in the week.

Treasuries also steadied after slipping during the previous session, even as the benchmark 10-year yield remained far from its highs at 1.64%.

With global stocks near record levels, investors are on the lookout for catalysts as companies report their first-quarter earnings.

However, investors also remain sensitive to any signs of a setback in the global economic recovery from COVID-19, including new waves of cases in countries such as India and the challenges in the global vaccine rollout. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s immunization panel’s review of Johnson & Johnson’s (NYSE:) vaccine on Wednesday ended without a vote, in effect extending the halt on the use of the vaccine.

The CDC had convened to review six cases of rare blood clots in women who received the vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will then review the CDC’s analysis and determine the next steps.

“You’re going to see this tug-of-war continue within markets as investors weigh the prospects of a strengthening economy with the risk of rising inflationary pressures,” EP Wealth Advisors managing director of portfolio strategy Adam Phillips.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell also re-affirmed the central bank’s continued support for the economic recovery in his speech at the Economic Club of Washington on Wednesday. Powell added that a pullback in asset purchases would happen “well before” the Fed considers raising interest rates.

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