Equities and Treasuries Declined on Chinese Economic Data and Fed’s Rate Clues

Asian equities dipped on Monday as rising energy costs highlighted concerns of inflation weighing on the global economy.

Equites in Mainland China partly cut losses with South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand and Japan closed on moderate loss. The MSCI Broad Market Asian Index ex Japan dipped by 0.38%.

Chinese first-quarter gross domestic product growth topped estimates but March retail sales decreased more than expected. The latter hinted at ongoing damage from Covid lockdowns in the last few weeks.

Officials cut the reserve requirement ratio Friday but refrained from lowering interest rates in a cautious approach to policy easing.

Treasuries declined as investors look forward to speeches by Federal Reserve policy makers this week for new clues on whether it will raise interest rates by a half point in May.  The two-year yield up two basis points to 2.47% while the 10-year yield rose two basis points to 2.85%.

Regional Fed chiefs, including James Bullard, Charles Evans and Mary Daly, will discuss the economy this week, while Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to make final public remarks on Thursday before the U.S. central bank’s pre-meeting quiet period.

Crude oil dipped pared gains with WTI trading around $106 a barrel while Brent is trading around $111 a barrel.