© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A passerby walks past an electric monitor displaying various countries’ stock price index outside a bank in Tokyo, Japan, March 22, 2023. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
By Stella Qiu
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Asian shares held tight ranges on Wednesday as investors awaited results from tech darling Nvidia (NASDAQ:) to see if the sector’s lofty valuations can withstand a jump in bond yields, while still gloomy factory readings from Japan left sentiment fragile.
climbed 0.3% while Nasdaq futures rose 0.4%.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan were up 0.1%, hovering not far away from its nine-month trough hit just two sessions ago. rose a meagre 0.2%.
Data on Wednesday showed Japan’s factory activity shrank for a third straight month in August, offering the first glimpse into the health of global manufacturing this month. The United States will also report its flash PMI readings on Wednesday, which is likely to show the factory sector remained in contraction.
Chinese shares gave up some gains, with blue-chips off 0.7% following a rebound of 0.8% the previous day, and Hong Kong’s easing 0.1% after jumping 1%.
Metal prices kept climbing for a second day, with iron ore prices gaining as much as 3.2% and coking coal futures up by a similar amount.
Investors are eagerly awaiting results from chip company Nvidia due late on Wednesday. Its blockbuster report last quarter fueled a rally in tech stocks and artificial intelligence hopes, propelling the this year.
Shares of Nvidia hit an all-time high of $481.87 overnight, with options data showing traders are expecting a larger-than-usual swing in shares after the quarterly results.
Analysts expect Nvidia to forecast 110% growth in third-quarter revenue to $12.50 billion. Stuart Humphrey, an analyst at JPMorgan (NYSE:), said some are forecasting $14-15 billion.
“This kind of number feels a touch high to me, but if it sniffs this – one could argue that into this print, it doesn’t matter if demand will eventually decline next year – (it) still will be rerated higher,” Humphrey said.
Overnight, Wall Street was hit by higher yields which hit fresh 16-year highs. The Dow Jones fell 0.5%, the S&P 500 lost 0.3% and the added 0.1%.
Financial shares underperformed, with the S&P 500 banks sliding 2.4%, after S&P joined Moody’s (NYSE:) to downgrade multiple regional U.S. lenders.
Elsewhere, Treasuries took a breather from the recent rout. Ten-year yields eased 2 basis points to 4.3082% in Asia, after touching a 16-year top of 4.3660% a session earlier.
A jump in Treasury issuance, Fitch’s credit downgrade three weeks ago and concerns China will dump Treasuries to support the yuan have added to a sell-off as investors await the Fed’s annual summit in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, later this week for more rate clues.
Comments from Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin raised expectations that Chair Jerome Powell would drive home a hawkish message, after strong U.S. economic data makes the “reacceleration scenario” possible.
In the currency markets, the U.S. dollar was still standing strong near its two month top at 103.5 against a basket of major currencies.
The yen gained 0.2% to 145.6 per dollar, pulling further away from a nine-month trough of 146.56, amid talks that Japan will only intervene in the market if the currency plunges past 150 to the dollar.
Oil prices were largely flat. futures was little changed at $84.00 per barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures also flat at $79.7.
The gold price was slightly higher at $1,901.2 per ounce.