* Asian stock markets: https://tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4
* Nikkei up 1%, Nomura points to a possible loss in the US unit
* Markets hopeful ahead of Biden infrastructure plan
* The US dollar holds recent gains against the euro and yen
* Oil supported by Suez blockade, OPEC meeting ahead of us
Posted by Wayne Cole
SYDNEY, March 29 (Reuters). Asian equity markets mixed on Monday as US stock futures slipped and investors waited for details on the proposed trillion US budget spending that many are relying on to fuel the global economic recovery.
Optimism about the US economy was helped by the introduction of vaccination, with around 143 million shots to nearly 94 million people, well before it was introduced in Europe.
President Joe Biden is expected to spice up his infrastructure spending plans on Wednesday, while the workforce is expected to rise by 630,000 on Friday, amid speculation it could be a million or more.
“We expect the world economy to grow by 6.4% this year, driven by a large fiscal stimulus in the US that has a positive impact on the rest of the world,” said Barclays economist Christian Keller.
“Rising inflation in the coming months should be temporary and central banks seem determined to look into them.”
MSCI’s broadest index for stocks in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan rose 0.3%, with activity capped by the end-of-quarter approach. Chinese blue chips rose 0.5%.
Japan’s Nikkei was up 1%, though there was some nervousness when Nomura reported that its U.S. unit could suffer a $ 2 billion loss related to a customer.
There was also some caution after a $ 20 billion block trade wave hit the markets on Friday reportedly linked to mutual fund Archegos Capital.
Currently, the Nasdaq futures were down 0.5% and the S&P 500 futures were down 0.4%.
The prospect of faster economic growth in the US has sparked speculation that inflation will rise and weighed on government bond prices. US 10-year bond yields fell 1.66% on Monday but were still not far from their recent 13-month high of 1.754%.
European yields were curbed by active purchases at the European Central Bank, which increased the dollar’s yield advantage over the euro. The single currency was last at $ 1.1786 after hitting a five-month low of $ 1.1760 last week.
TD Securities analysts noted that the euro had not benefited on Friday from a very strong German IfO poll that showed near two-year business ethics and signs of a recovery in the service sector.
“This suggests that the market positioning in EURUSD is still significantly shifted to the long side – although the spot has seen a significant decline in the 200-day moving average,” they write in a note. “From here we will continue to focus on downside risks.”
The dollar was also firm at 109.70 yen after hitting 109.84 on Friday, its highest level since early June. The dollar index stood at 92.776 after hitting its highest level since mid-November.
The rise in yields has weighed on gold, which does not offer a fixed rate of return, and left it at $ 1,730 an ounce.
Oil prices and commodities in general have been buoyed by speculation that a blockage of the Suez Canal could take weeks to delay oil shipments of a million barrels a day. Over 300 ships are now waiting to pass the shipping route, which accounts for 12% of world trade.
The market will be cautious ahead of an OPEC meeting this week that will see a decision on whether to extend delivery limits or loosen the cones.
Brent shed 7 cents at $ 64.50 in early trading while US crude fell 24 cents to $ 60.73 a barrel.
(Arrangement by Richard Pullin and Sam Holmes)