Equities mostly dip, with Biden spending plan in focus

·3-min read
US President Joe Biden is to unveil a $2 trillion infrastructure plan

Global stocks mostly fell Wednesday with sentiment hit by inflation concerns ahead of President Joe Biden unveiling his latest spending plans, dealers said.

London stocks shed 0.3 percent in afternoon trade as investors also tracked a badly-received £7.6-billion ($10.4 billion, 8.9 billion euros) flotation for UK app-driven food delivery service Deliveroo.

Deliveroo, which has boomed on strong demand from locked-down consumers, saw its share price slump by almost a third as the initial public offering turned up cold amid fears over treatment of its riders.

Elsewhere in Europe, Paris stocks shed 0.1 percent and Frankfurt was marginally lower, after earlier losses in Asia and overnight on Wall Street.

The euro dipped versus the dollar on news that eurozone consumer price inflation accelerated to 1.3 percent in March from 0.9 percent in February.

The news comes amid stubborn concerns that stimulus cash and pent-up consumer demand could stoke inflationary pressures and in turn force central banks to hike interest rates.

The issue has reached a point where dealers are spooked by good news, with the possibility of more government spending forcing benchmark 10-year US Treasury yields -- a gauge of future borrowing costs -- to almost double since the turn of the year.

Eyes will remain on US bond yields later Wednesday when Biden is due to announce a $2 trillion infrastructure programme, which will be financed by more borrowing and a hike in the corporate tax rate.

"Today's key event will be the unveiling of Biden's infrastructure plan – another bold move by the US President," said OANDA analyst Sophie Griffiths.

"This comes hot on the heels of the recently approved $1.9-trillion stimulus plan, further bolstering expectations for a strong US economic recovery," she added.

Griffiths said bond yields will be very much in focus following the announcement and would likely determine the direction for equities trading.

She said that markets were "heading south" on Wednesday as a result of "surging US treasury yields overnight" and ongoing concerns over fallout from the collapse of Wall Street fund Archegos.

Elsewhere, world oil prices dipped, as traders adopted a wait-and-see approach on the eve of Thursday's OPEC oil output meeting.

Crude futures had slid the previous day after the Suez Canal -- a key trade chokepoint -- was unblocked after a near week-long shutdown.

Markets will also digest a US private-sector employment report from payroll services firm ADP, before Friday's key non-farm payrolls data that will provide a crucial health-check on the US economy.

The dollar held close to a one-year yen high as a widely-expected surge in global economic growth sees money move out of the safe-haven Japanese unit.

- Key figures around 1130 GMT -

London - FTSE 100: DOWN 0.3 percent at 6,750.39 points

Paris - CAC 40: DOWN 0.1 percent at 6,079.56

Frankfurt - DAX 30: FLAT at 15,014.80

EURO STOXX 50: DOWN 0.1 percent at 3,922.96

Tokyo - Nikkei 225: DOWN 0.9 percent at 29,178.80 (close)

Hong Kong - Hang Seng: DOWN 0.7 percent at 28,378.35 (close)

Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,441.91 (close)

New York - Dow: DOWN 0.3 percent at 33,066.96 (close)

Dollar/yen: UP at 110.65 yen from 110.36 yen at 2100 GMT

Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.1729 from $1.1764

Pound/dollar: UP at $1.3771 from $1.3765

Euro/pound: DOWN at 85.21 pence from 85.44 pence

West Texas Intermediate: DOWN 0.3 percent at $60.39 per barrel

Brent North Sea crude: DOWN 0.4 percent at $63.88 per barrel

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