Equities dip

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    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.