TOKYO/NEW YORK- Asian shares shed early gains from a strong Wall Street lead on Wednesday, as some investors booked profits on a stellar run to record highs, but hope for additional US economic stimulus and a coronavirus vaccine kept market sentiment well supported.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.06 percent, pulling back from last week’s all-time high. Australian stocks erased early gains and fell 0.38 percent.
Shares in China fell 0.22 percent. Tokyo stocks fell 0.17 percent after setting a new 29-year high. South Korean shares bucked the trend and rose 1.11 percent due to signs of an increase in semiconductor demand.
US stock futures declined 0.4 percent following a record closing high for Wall Street shares.
Benchmark US Treasury yields eased slightly but remained near a three-week high as Republicans and Democrats submitted proposals for economic stimulus in a bid to pass a bill some time this month.
Analysts say further downside for global equities is likely limited, with major uncertainties surrounding the outlook now fading.
“We’ve had some positive leads, and a combination of optimism around the vaccine, and government and central bank stimulus remains in place,” said Michael McCarthy, chief markets strategist at CMC Markets. “It’s a sweet spot for markets.”
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe rose 0.07 percent in Asia on Wednesday, edging toward an all-time high.