* Asian stock markets: https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
* MSCI ex-Japan swings higher, Nikkei tries to jump
* S&P 500 futures alleviate doubts about vaccine adoption
* The crowd in retail is looking at silver and jumping 6m high
* Dollar backed by cautious sentiment, bonds prepared for offer
By Wayne Cole
SYDNEY, February 1 (Reuters). Asian stocks tried to rebound on Monday as Wall Street continued to grapple with vaccine adoption and economic rebound doubts, while silver rose as newly empowered retail investors turned speculative eyes on precious metals.
MSCI’s broadest index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan made up for early losses, rising 0.7% after recovering from four consecutive losses.
Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.8% after losing nearly 2% on Friday, while Chinese blue chips rose 0.5% as the country’s central bank injected more money into the money markets.
Wall Street indices reduced their losses, but futures for the S&P 500 were still down 0.3% while NASDAQ futures were down 0.4%.
Traders also waited cautiously for new developments in the headline-grabbing battle between retail investors and funds that specialize in shorting stocks.
According to an analysis by Goldman Sachs Inc., US hedge funds have bought and sold most of their stocks for more than 10 years amid GameStop Corp. volatility.
There was talk of silver being the new target for the retail industry as the metal rose 5% to a six-month high.
Still, many analysts are viewing this entertaining episode as a sideline compared to signs of losing momentum in the US and Europe as coronavirus lockdowns bite.
In fact, two polls from China showed that factory activity slowed in January as restrictions took a toll in some regions.
News of vaccine rollouts hasn’t been positive either, especially given doubts as to whether they will work on new strains of COVID.
“It is these considerations, not what happens to a video game retailer on a daily basis, that weighs on risk,” said John Briggs, global strategy director for NatWest Markets. “Much of the market valuations, especially risk, are based on the fact that we can see a light at the end of the COVID tunnel.”
Doubts have also emerged about the future of President Joe Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion aid package. 10 Republican senators push for $ 600 billion plan.
The turmoil in stocks only caused a brief ripple in bonds, with government bond yields actually rising late last week, possibly due to the tidal wave of borrowing.
A record $ 1.11 trillion in gross government bond issuance is forecast for this quarter, up from $ 685 billion in the same period last year.
On Monday, the US 10-year yield was 1.077%, near the most recent 10-month high of 1.187%.
Higher yields combined with more cautious market sentiment have kept the safe haven dollar stable above its recent lows. The dollar index stood at 90.535 after rebounding from a low of 89.206 in early January.
The euro was idle at $ 1.2129, well below its recent high of $ 1.2349, while the dollar remained firm at 104.70 yen.
Gold followed silver higher to $ 1,852 an ounce but repeatedly paused at resistance around $ 1,875.
Global demand concerns kept oil prices in check. US crude oil was unchanged at $ 52.20 per barrel, while Brent crude oil futures rose 10 cents to $ 55.14.
(Reporting by Wayne Cole; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Richard Pullin)