(BLOOMBERG) – United States equity futures dipped and Asian contracts pointed to a muted start on Monday (May 24) as traders weighed the volatile slump in cryptocurrencies and the inflation outlook.

The US dollar inched upwards.

Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 edged down, after US stocks closed mixed last Friday.

Equity futures were in the green in Japan but modestly lower in Australia and Hong Kong.

Bitcoin experienced another weekend of big price swings, whipsawing investors with double-digit percentage moves.

The stalling commodities boom remains in focus as China tries to temper prices.

Market-based gauges of inflation expectations have declined of late, though concerns linger that the post-pandemic recovery could stoke price pressures and force a pullback in extraordinary central bank support.

Global equities have lost some steam and speculative ardour for high-risk investments like bitcoin is also waning after a prolonged rally from pandemic lows.

While the economic recovery from the health crisis is background support for sentiment, investors are also wary of the risk that policymakers may eventually have to curb stimulus.

“The inflation scare is likely to linger for a while yet, as the earlier surge in commodity prices and bottlenecks continues to feed through, which is likely to push bond yields higher and risk a further correction in shares in the next few months,” AMP Capital head of investment strategy Shane Oliver said in a note.

He added that cryptocurrencies may be having at most a marginal negative short-term impact on sentiment.

Here are some events this week:

– Consensus by CoinDesk brings prominent crypto voices together to discuss NFTs (non-fungible tokens), exchanges and the role of central banks. US Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard and Bridgewater founder Ray Dalio will participate. Until May 27.

– Bank of Indonesia rate decision on Tuesday, Reserve Bank of New Zealand policy decision on Wednesday, Bank of Korea rate decision on Thursday.

– CEOs of the largest US banks, including JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, will testify before lawmakers in the Senate Banking and House Financial Services committees on Wednesday.

– US initial jobless claims, GDP, durable goods, pending home sales, on Thursday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:


– S&P 500 futures slid 0.1 per cent as at 7.35am in Tokyo (6.35am in Singapore). The index ended little changed last Friday.

– Nasdaq 100 contracts lost 0.3 per cent. The gauge fell 0.6 per cent last Friday.

– Nikkei 225 futures rose 0.3 per cent.

– Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index futures fell 0.1 per cent.

– Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index futures fell 0.2 per cent earlier.


– The Japanese yen was at 108.98 per US dollar.

– The offshore yuan traded at 6.4371 per US dollar.

– The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1 per cent.

– The euro was at US$1.2177 (S$1.622).


– The yield on 10-year Treasuries was little changed at 1.62 per cent last Friday.


– West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.2 per cent to US$63.72 a barrel.

– Gold was at US$1,880.75 an ounce.