Asia stocks weighed by inflation concerns, China tech selling



By Scott Murdoch

HONG KONG, May 23 (Reuters) - Asian stocks came under pressure on Monday as persistent worries about inflation and rising interest rates dogged the global economic outlook and fresh selling in technology stocks weighed on Chinese markets.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS was flat, after U.S. stocks ended the previous session with negligible gains for the day. The index is down 3.6% so far this month.

A negative tone was evident as Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index .HSI slid 0.38% and the mainland's CSI300 Index .CSI300 dropped 0.37%, led by a 1.5% decline in technology firms .HSTECH .

Australian shares .AXJO gained 0.42% while Japan's Nikkei stock index .N225 was 0.8% higher.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes US10YT=RR rose to 2.7883% from its U.S. close of 2.787% on Friday.

The two-year yield US2YT=RR , which rises with traders' expectations of higher Fed fund rates, touched 2.5869%, up from 2.583%.

Uncertainty in market sentiment this week follows the S&P 500's .SP500 meagre gains on Friday of just 0.01%.

The Nasdaq .IXIC declined 0.30% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI rose 0.03%.

Despite the marginal gains, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq recorded their seventh straight weeks of losses, the longest losing streak since the end of the dotcom bubble in 2001.

The Dow suffered its eighth consecutive weekly decline, its longest since 1932 during the Great Depression.

Inflationary pressures remain top of mind for investors, given German wholesale inflation figures published on Friday showed a higher than expected jump indicating prices will remain elevated in the short term future.

Germany's producer price index for April rose 2.8% for the month, which meant annual growth was a persistently high 33.5%.

In Australia, the Labor Party ended a near 10 year rule of conservative government at a general election on the weekend

While Labor has promised climate, housing and enhanced social welfare reforms analysts do not believe the change in government will crate major implications for the nation's economy.

"In our view there was little proposed by the incoming government during the election campaign that at this stage requires us to revisit our economic forecasts," CBA economists wrote on Monday.

"Put another way, our economic forecasts and call on the RBA are unchanged despite the change of national leadership."

In early Asian trade, the dollar rose 0.04% against the yen to 127.9 JPY= . It is still some distance from its high this year of 131.34 on 2022-05-09.

U.S. crude CLc1 dipped 0.04% to $110.24 a barrel. Brent crude LCOc1 rose 0.23% to $112.68 per barrel.

The concerns over global economic growth has prompted renewed support for gold.

"Gold prices saw the first weekly gain since mid-April as safe haven demand was boosted by concerns over economic growth amid high inflation," ANZ analysts said in a research note on Monday. "A weaker U.S. dollar has also boosted investor appetite."

Spot gold XAU= was 0.3% higher early Monday at $1847.0226 per ounce.



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Editing by Sam Holmes


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