Shares expand


    TOKYO/NEW YORK- Asian shares edged higher on Wednesday as investors shrugged off concerns that stocks may have rallied too far too fast in the past year, and focused instead on optimism that more imminent US stimulus will energize the global economic recovery.

    MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up 0.44 percent. Australian shares were up 0.62 percent, while Japan’s Nikkei stock index rose only 0.03 percent.

    Shares in China gained 0.63 percent.

    E-mini S&P futures were up 0.23 percent.

    Wall Street had retreated overnight after beginning March with a bang, with the S&P 500 staging its best one-day rally in nine months on Monday.

    But some analysts warned that worries that stock prices may be frothy, a fear echoed by a top Chinese regulatory official on Tuesday, may make it harder for equity markets to hang on to gains. Fears that last week’s sell-off in US Treasuries, which rattled stock markets, could resume may also put a lid on stock prices, they said.

    “While markets have stabilized…, the tone remains tenuous as investors continue to fear a further sell-off in rates,” analysts at TD Securities said in a note.

    Benchmark US government bond yields dipped again for the third consecutive day as investors paused a recent sell-off ahead of a slew of US economic data that will be released later this week. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes stood at 1.4085 percent, down from last week’s high of 1.614 percent.

    The US stock market was roiled last week when benchmark yields spiked to a one-year high on investor bets that a strong US economic rebound amid ultra-loose monetary conditions could fuel inflation.

    US Federal Reserve officials have said that inflation concerns are premature, however, and warned that rising yields could tighten financial conditions and constrain an economic recovery.

    MSCI’s broadest index of global stocks edged up by 0.05 percent. – Reuters