Recession fears trigger sea of red in Asian stocks; US and Europe are are only slightly lower

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  • Fears of a US recession reached new highs during Asian trading hours Monday on the back of bond-market warnings.
  • US futures were only slightly lower in trading after a brutal session Friday.
  • Nasdaq futures were down 0.3% early Monday, while European markets were mixed.

Asian stocks closed in the red with recessionary warnings front and center on Monday.

The sell-off on Friday bled into Monday trading but seemed to stop at Asia, as US futures and European stocks were broadly flat early on. The worries followed an inversion on part of the yield curve last Friday, which signalled the bond market’s increasing concern about global growth and US recession.

Weaker industrial data out of Germany and dovish moves by the Federal Reserve last week had also dampened sentiment.

Investors on Friday saw 10-year Treasury yields fall below three-month Treasury yields for the first time since 2007. An inversion – in which long-term yields fall below short-term ones – of a different part of the yield curve has been viewed as a recession indicator, and Friday’s news prompted a broader run on equities.

“Global stocks have taken a battering in the last couple of sessions as bond yields have sunk across the board,” said Neil Wilson, the chief market analyst at Markets.com. “The slide in yields last week was a red flag for equities; the bond market loudly proclaiming that it’s not confident about the growth outlook.”

Here’s the roundup as of 10:32 a.m. in London (6:32 a.m. in New York):

  • The Shanghai Composite dropped 2% Monday, while Japan’s Nikkei plunged 3%.
  • In the US, futures were slightly in the red with the Nasdaq down 0.3% and both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 lower by 0.1%.
  • European markets were mixed but broadly flat. The Euro Stoxx 50, France’s CAC, and Germany’s DAX index were little changed.
  • US 10-year Treasury yields dived Friday following the yield-curve inversion, but investors fled equity markets for bonds Monday, with yields up 0.4%.
  • Oil, which had previously been boosted by cuts from major oil producers, slightly declined amid growth fears, with Brent down 0.1% and West Texas Intermediate 0.4% lower.

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