Asian stocks fall, gold at over a 2-month high

Singapore, Oct. 19 (BNA): Asian shares slid on Thursday as risk aversion prevailed in the market due to mounting worries over Middle East tensions, while gold prices stayed near two-month peaks with investors seeking safer assets.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 1.11% lower and on course for a 1.4% decline in the week. Japan’s Nikkei sank 1.35%.

The broad sell-off in U.S. Treasury securities continued into Asian hours, with the yield on 10-year notes touching a fresh 16-year high as investors come to grips with the Federal Reserve’s messaging that interest rates may stay higher for longer. Yields rise when bond prices fall, Reuters reported.

“Such uncertainties could trigger defensive stances in Asia’s short-term risk asset demand, especially as observers keep a vigilant eye on potential ripple effects,” said Alves.

China’s blue-chip stock index CSI300 fell 0.90%, while the Hang Seng Index sank 1.6% in early morning trade.

U.S. stocks ended sharply lower on Wednesday as elevated Treasury yields weighed, with investors assessing the latest batch of quarterly corporate results and forecasts.

Investors in Asia will focus on earnings from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd., later in the day, when the company is expected to report a 30% slump in third-quarter profit. Analysts predict robust growth next year as the chip industry emerges from its current downturn.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Wednesday that he was concerned about the impact of high interest rates on car buyers as the company missed Wall Street expectations on third-quarter gross margin, profit, and revenue.

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Meanwhile, Federal Reserve policymakers are signalling a pause in hiking interest rates for another couple of months. U.S. crude fell 0.27% to $88.08 per barrel, and Brent was at $90.90, down 0.66% on the day.

Spot gold was at $1,948.16 per ounce, just shy of $1,962.39, its highest since August 1 touched on Tuesday.


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