Most Asian stocks slipped and U.S. equity futures were steady Monday as traders weighed the volatile slump in cryptocurrencies and the inflation outlook. Metals fell as China intensified its weeks-long campaign to cool surging commodity prices.
Equity futures were in the green in Japan but modestly lower in Australia and Hong Kong.
Bitcoin experienced another weekend of big price swings, whipsawing investors with double-digit percentage moves.
The stalling commodities boom remains in focus as China tries to temper prices, with the nation vowing zero tolerance for price violations.
Market-based gauges of inflation expectations have declined of late, though concerns linger that the post-pandemic recovery could stoke price pressures and force a pullback in extraordinary central bank support.
Global equities have lost some steam and speculative ardor for high-risk investments like bitcoin is also waning after a prolonged rally from pandemic lows.
While the economic recovery from the health crisis, investors are also wary of the risk that policymakers may eventually have to curb stimulus.
“The inflation scare is likely to linger for a while yet, as the earlier surge in commodity prices and bottlenecks continues to feed through, which is likely to push bond yields higher and risk a further correction in shares in the next few months,” AMP Capital head of investment strategy Shane Oliver said in a note.
Oil traded around $64 a barrel amid further signs the U.S. is recovering from the pandemic. Traders also monitored progress in talks to revive an Iranian nuclear deal that could lead to increased global crude supply.