Asian Shares in Tight Range ahead of U.S. CPI, ECB Meeting

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Asian shares edged higher but held their recent trading range on Thursday as investors focussed on U.S. inflation data and the risk of an upside surprise that could prompt the Federal Reserve to start tapering its massive stimulus.

In early European trades, the panregion Euro Stoxx 50 futures added 0.52 and German DAX futures rose 0.1, as did Londons FTSE futures. U.S. stock futures, the SP 500 eminis, were up 0.32.

MSCIs broadest index of AsiaPacific shares outside Japan gained to 703.7 points, but stayed in the 698712 points range it has traded in since late May.

Japans Nikkei rose 0.3 while Australias benchmark index finished 0.6 higher. Chinese shares gained with the bluechip index up 0.6

Overnight, fixed income markets were the big movers, with some analysts pointing to a setback to more U.S. stimulus efforts, while others suggested a likely clearing out of short positions in U.S. government bonds ahead of the May CPI.

Short positions in Treasuries were the highest since 2018, according to JP Morgan positioning data last week.

The yield on benchmark 10year U.S. Treasury notes slipped to 1.4891 from 1.528 late on Tuesday. A fall below 1.47 would take yields to the lowest since March 4.

Also at play was some thought that hedge funds may have shifted their bond allocation, driven by lower volatility in the bond market recently, analysts said.

On Wall Street overnight, the SP 500 came within a whisker of its alltime high set in May as big tech rallied along with…

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