SINGAPORE — Shares in Japan looked set for a lower start on Wednesday as investors monitor moves in U.S. Treasury yields.

The Nikkei futures contract in Chicago was at 29,700 while its counterpart in Osaka was at 29,680. That compared against the Nikkei 225’s last close at 29,774.11. Markets in Japan were closed on Tuesday for a holiday.

Australian stocks were lower in morning trade as the S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.23%.

The benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yield has been climbing since President Joe Biden announced his renomination of Jerome Powell as Federal Reserve chair. It last sat at 1.6686%, as 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.


The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 96.488 following its climb earlier in the week from below 96.4.

The Japanese yen traded at 115.14 per dollar, having weakened from below 114.5 against the greenback earlier this week. The Australian dollar was at $0.7224, still off levels above $0.73 seen last week.

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