Japan stocks set for decline as investors watch U.S. Treasury yields

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SINGAPORE — Shares in Asia-Pacific were mixed in Wednesday morning trade as investors monitor moves in U.S. Treasury yields.

In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.13% while the Topix index moved 0.23% higher. Markets in Japan were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.5%, as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix jumped about 2% before paring some gains.

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore’s economy grew 7.1% in the third quarter as compared with a year ago, according to the Ministry of Trade and Industry. It was higher than an earlier official advance estimate for 6.5% year-on-year growth.

Australian’s S&P/ASX 200 hovered close to the flatline.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield has climbed since President Joe Biden announced his renomination of Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve chair. It last sat at 1.6651%, compared with levels around 1.55% seen earlier in the week.

In other central bank developments, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand is set to release its interest rate decision and monetary policy statement at 9 a.m. HK/SIN.

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The rise in Treasury yields has weighed on technology stocks on Wall Street, with the Nasdaq Composite falling 0.5% overnight stateside to 15,775.14. Higher rates are often seen as a negative for high-growth firms in sectors like tech as their future earnings look less attractive against a backdrop of rising short-term yields.

Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 194.55 points to 35,813.80 while the S&P 500 climbed about 0.17% to 4,690.70.

Currencies

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.491 following its climb earlier in the week from below 96.4.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.19 per dollar, having weakened from below 114.5 against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7222, still off levels above $0.73 seen last week.