Asia Markets: Asian markets down, but improve from early lows

Asia-Pacific stock markets were off their lows after they started Wednesday weaker in the wake of Wall Street’s losses.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -1.74%   fell 1.7% on Tuesday as industrial giants Caterpillar CAT, -6.20%   and 3M MMM, -6.83%   warned their results could cool near term. Shares of both dropped about 6%. On the other hand, 10-year Treasury yields hit 3% and remain at their highest level since January 2014, a sign of confidence in the economy,

Several stock market benchmarks in Asia fell as much as 1% in the opening minutes of trading but by midmorning had largely narrowed those declines to within 0.5%. S&P 500 futures ESM8, -0.21%   were recently up 0.15%.

Justin Tang, head of Asian research United First Partners, said while many investors have priced in higher 10-year bond yields, “the real concern is how quickly rates are going to go up.” The 10-year Treasury yield started 2018 at 2.41%.

Korea’s Kospi SEU, -0.83%   was being pressured lower by chip stocks. Samsung 005930, -1.59%   fell a further 1.4% Wednesday morning following the downbeat comments Tuesday from fellow chip-maker Hynix 000660, +0.49%   which sent both down nearly 3%.

In Japan NIK, -0.65%  , Takeda Pharmaceutical 4502, -6.58%   slid 6% and hit levels last seen in November 2016 after Shire said its board was willing to recommend yet-another revised takeover proposal to its shareholders, subject to resolving other issues. The bid is now at 46 billion pounds ($64 billion).

Australian and New Zealand markets are closed for a holiday.

Oil prices in Asia edged higher after Tuesday’s pullback from 3½-year highs. Bitcoin BTCUSD, +2.38%   has continued to rally, moving within $300 of $10,000, according to CoinDesk. That level hasn’t been reached by the cryptocurrency since early March.

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