(Sept 14): Asian stocks look set for a steady open Tuesday after the U.S. snapped a five-day drop ahead of inflation data that could impact expectations of the likely timeline for a reduction in Federal Reserve stimulus.

Futures rose in Japan and Hong Kong but dipped in Australia, while U.S. contracts edged up. The S&P 500 rose as energy companies paced gains after crude oil extended a rally to a six-week high. The Nasdaq 100 closed little changed. Treasuries climbed and the dollar was steady.

OPEC predicted stronger demand for its crude on a combination of rising global fuel consumption and output disruptions elsewhere. Elsewhere in commodity markets, industrial metals advanced, with aluminum reaching US$3,000 a ton in London for the first time in 13 years amid supply snarls.

Chinese technology shares traded in the U.S. declined for a fourth day on Beijing’s regulatory crackdown. The debt crisis at China Evergrande Group will be closely watched amid mounting protests by homebuyers, retail investors and even its own employees.

Global stocks have been buoyed this year by robust earnings reports and a rapid recovery from the pandemic-induced recession. The rally stalled in recent weeks on the hit to the economic reopening from the delta virus strain and risks from elevated inflation, which has been stoked partly by supply disruptions. Data later Tuesday are expected to show a slight moderation in U.S. price pressures.

“Investors don’t want to have massive positions before the inflation data as the risks are to the upside as Covid inflation continues to hamper supply chains,” Edward Moya, a senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note. “If inflation comes in hotter-than-expected, taper expectations could shift from December to November.”

Elsewhere, the cryptocurrency sector steadied after a bout of volatility sparked by a hoax announcement. Bitcoin was trading at around US$45,000.

Here are some events to watch this week:

U.S. consumer-price index, Tuesday
Apple product-launch event, Tuesday
China retail sales, property prices, industrial production, Wednesday
Quadruple witching day for U.S. markets, Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:
Stocks

S&P 500 futures rose 0.1% as of 7:13 a.m. in Tokyo. The S&P 500 rose 0.2%
Nasdaq 100 contracts added less than 0.1%. The Nasdaq 100 was little changed
Nikkei 225 futures rose 0.3%
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures fell 0.2%
Hang Seng Index futures rose 0.2% earlier

Currencies

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed
The euro was little changed at US$1.1811
The Japanese yen was little changed at 110.01 per dollar
The offshore yuan was at 6.4433 per dollar

Bonds

The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined about one basis point to 1.33%

Commodities

West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.3% to US$70.65 a barrel
Gold was at US$1,793.64 an ounce
The Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index gained 0.6% to reach a fresh 10-year high

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