NEW YORK/SINGAPORE- Asian stocks dipped on Tuesday, retreating from record highs as lingering concerns about potential roadblocks to the Biden administration’s $1.9 trillion stimulus weighed on sentiment, dragging US Treasury yields to three-weeks lows.
The lower risk appetite lent some support to the dollar against a basket of currencies, while oil prices edged down.
In a sea of red seen across Asian markets, South Korea and Hong Kong HSI topped losers and fell 1.7 percent each, Japan slipped 0.6 percent and Chinese stocks .CSI300 shed 1.5 percent. All have touched milestone highs this month.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan dipped 0.7 percent to 722.7 but was not far off from a record high struck on Monday and is still up 9 percent so far this year.
Australian stock markets were closed for a national public holiday.
E-mini futures for the S&P 500 slipped 0.26 percent.
All eyes were on Washington as US lawmakers agreed that getting COVID-19 vaccines to Americans should be a priority even as they locked horns over the size of the pandemic relief package.
“The immediate question now is when stimulus aid will be approved and how much?” said Christopher Grisanti, chief equity strategist at MAI Capital Management.
Financial markets have been eyeing a massive package, though disagreements have meant months of indecision in a country suffering more than 175,000 COVID-19 cases a day with millions out of work.
Fourth-quarter gross domestic product data for the United States, Germany and France due out this week may cool sentiment.
Overnight, the Nasdaq index scaled a new peak and added 0.7 percent on hopes of strong earnings later this week from technology titans, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average index struggled to keep pace and fell 0.12 percent.