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Passersby’s Reflections on Electric Stock Quotation Board Sparks Concerns as Asian Shares Extend Risk-Off for Second Day with Dollar Holding Gains

SYDNEY, Aug 3 (Reuters) – Asian shares stumbled on Thursday as U.S. bond yields hit a nine-month high, causing the dollar to rise. Investors anxiously awaited the results from Apple and Amazon to determine if the tech sector’s high valuations were justified. The Bank of England is also expected to raise interest rates later in the day.

Both S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures remained flat, following a wave of selling on Wall Street. This came after a rating agency cut the U.S. government’s credit rating.

In Asia, MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.2%, a day after experiencing a sharp drop of 2.3%. Despite these losses, the index still managed to gain 5.4% over the course of July.

Japan’s Nikkei slid 1.3%, adding to its losses so far in August. The yield on 10-year Japanese government bonds also reached a high not seen since April 2014. As a result, the Bank of Japan intervened and conducted bond buying to prevent yields from rising further.

Notably, long-term U.S. Treasury yields continued to climb, supported by stronger-than-expected private employment data and plans to refund maturing U.S. government debt. U.S. 10-year yields hit a new nine-month peak while 30-year yields reached a fresh nine-month top. These developments have led to a decrease in risk appetite and significant declines in the Nasdaq and S&P 500.

Analysts believe that the recent movements in the market may lead to a pullback or choppy trading at best. Chinese blue chips rose 0.5%, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was up 0.2% following a private survey showing China’s services activity expansion in July.

Later in the day, Apple is expected to report a significant drop in revenues, while Amazon is projected to experience a rise in second-quarter revenue. The U.S. dollar remains strong, particularly against its major peers, and the closely-watched U.S. nonfarm payrolls report will be released on Friday.

The Bank of England is anticipated to raise interest rates, potentially to a 15-year high. However, there is a risk of a surprise increase similar to June’s half-point hike. In a separate development, Brazil’s central bank decreased its benchmark interest rates for the first time in three years, marking the beginning of an easing cycle in emerging markets.

Oil prices showed slight gains as markets considered bullish U.S. inventory data and the potential extension of OPEC+ output cuts. Meanwhile, gold prices remained stable.

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