Stocks end the day lower

Meanwhile, U.S. home sales fell unexpectedly for a second consecutive month in January and experienced their largest decline on an annual basis over three years, according to the National Association of Realtors on Wednesday. However, the latter is not our base case scenario for the rest of 2018 and we expect bond yields to rise relatively slowly, with equity markets taking the increase as a "good" rise in rates. Walmart sank the most since 1988, while a rally in chipmakers boosted the Nasdaq 100 Index.

Treasury yields rose overnight with the benchmark 10-year yield crawling back to near a four-year peak as investors made room for this week's $258 billion deluge of new government debt.

But they reversed course later as bond yields climbed to four-year highs on the likelihood of further rate increases this year.

The US dollar increased against most major peers as investors were digesting the newly-released Federal Reserve minutes.

With yields and the United States dollar higher, and with U.S. stocks staging a dramatic late reversal, it looks set to be an interesting day in Asia.

The DXY index traded modestly higher this morning to 89.85. The stock was the biggest gainer in the S&P 500, adding $8.65 to $114. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news. Bitcoin broke above $11,500, nearly double its intraday low from just two weeks ago.

Stateside markets took a hit in the previous session from Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes which left multiple furher interest rate increases very much on the cards. In addition, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari and Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker are scheduled to speak today. Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester is among speakers at the U.S. Monetary Policy Forum in New York City.

-Companies announcing earnings this week include Glencore, Woolworths, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Chinese markets reopen on Thursday after holidays. This year-to-date chart compares the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($DJI, marked by the candlestick), to the dollar index (blue line).

The rupee is the second-worst performer among Asian currencies this year, shedding almost 2%. It inched up 1.84 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,531.84.

The Russell 2000 is down 3.67 points, or 0.2 percent.

Platinum was about unchanged at $1,000/oz while palladium was down 0.5% to $1,018/oz.

The dollar too was trading just off 10-day highs against a basket of currencies and was set for its first week of gains this year.

Sydney gained 0.1 percent, Singapore put on 0.4 percent and Seoul was up 0.3 percent.

-The MSCI Emerging Markets Currency index decreased 0.3 percent.

One head-scratcher about recent market action was the dollar's descent in the face of higher yields in the interest rate complex. The S&P 500 was down 0.6 percent, to 2,716.

Analyst Omkar Godbole stated that a close higher than 108.50 may be able trigger a bullish trend reversal and allow for a continued rise to 110.00 and above.

  • Zachary Reyes