Asian stocks make cautious gains after patchy Wall St rally

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By David Henry

© Reuters/ALY SONG FILE PHOTO: A man stands on an overpass with an electronic board showing Shanghai and Shenzhen stock indexes in Shanghai

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Asian stocks inched higher on Wednesday, as upbeat Wall Street earnings and optimism about a global recovery supported sentiment, although concerns about the sustainability of a recent risk rally are likely to cap gains.

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The Australian S&P/ASX 200 Index was last up 0.5% and e-mini futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.14%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.31%.

Bitcoin, which gained 19.5% on Monday, was down 0.1% at $46,354 as Asian trading got underway.

The cryptocurrency was headed toward $50,000 on Tuesday, but paused at $48,216.

The early action came as shares of Lyft Inc rose as much as 11% while Twitter Inc climbed 2% in aftermarket trading on their latest quarterly results.

The earnings follow a slowdown in the global market rally on Tuesday as investors reconsidered how much government stimulus spending, easy money from central banks and vaccinations will boost stocks, oil and inflation.

“Substantial inflation worries are potentially overblown,” Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at financial services firm Axi, wrote in a note to clients.

On Wall Street, major stock indexes closed little changed, though the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite eked out a record high on a gain of 0.14%. The S&P 500 lost 0.11% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 0.03%.

The S&P had climbed the previous six sessions and is up 5.3% for the month. All three indexes closed at records on Monday.

European shares also slipped, with the STOXX 600 index finishing 0.1% in the red. The index has gained nearly 4% this month.

The dollar index fell 0.57% on Tuesday, led by losses against the yen and euro in choppy trade and hitting two-week lows.[FRX/]

The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury notes was last at 1.16% after rising on Tuesday as high as 1.72% but falling back to the same level as on Monday.

Brent oil rose on Tuesday to $61.06 in the seventh straight session of gains, touching 13-month highs. Investors are betting that fuel demand will rise while OPEC and allied producers keep a lid on supply.

“With Brent over $60, it’s been great psychologically,” said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital LLC in New York.

“Everyone is feeling bullish about stronger demand and global inventories in further decline.”

Spot gold added 0.1% to $1,838.09 an ounce after rising to a one-week high on Tuesday.

“The reflation trade is really starting to settle in,” and gold is benefiting from the dollar weakening again, and stimulus being the big focus, said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

(Reporting by David Henry in New York; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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