• Asian equities remain on the back foot while tracking broad risk-off mood.
  • Australia CPI, South Korea GDP drown markets in Canberra, Seoul.
  • Fears of Fed’s faster rate hikes join escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine to weigh on sentiment.
  • US CB Consumer Confidence eyed ahead of Wednesday’s FOMC.

Asian equities track US stock futures while printing losses during early Tuesday. Market sentiment sours amid inflation and geopolitical concerns ahead of Wednesday’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

That said, MSCI’s index of Asia-Pacific shares ex-Japan drops 1.60% while Japan’s Nikkei 225 prints 2.20% intraday loss heading into Tuesday’s European session.

Among the key losers is Australia’s ASX 200 and South Korea’s KOSPI, both of which drop around 2.0% at the latest. Strong prints of Australia’s Q4 Consumer Price Index (CPI) followed an upbeat Aussie jobs report to propel the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) towards stiff monetary policy, which in turn weighed on the Aussie stocks. On the other hand, South Korea’s preliminary readings of Q4 GDP also came out as robust and favored bears in Seoul.

Elsewhere, Japan is up for taking 34 out of 47 prefectures under quasi emergency due to the South African covid variant, namely Omicron, but hopes of stimulus seem to defend Japanese traders.

It’s worth noting that policymakers at China’s Evergrande discuss with creditors amid a looming crisis over bond coupon payment. On the same line were downbeat comments from the Chinese Commerce Ministry. Though, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) stays ready to defend the interest of Beijing-based investors. As a result, stocks in China and Hong Kong print mild losses.

On a broader front, the US 10-year Treasury yields stay firmer around 1.78%, rising for the first time in the last five days, whereas the US stock futures remain on the back foot.

Moving on, market sentiment is likely to remain sluggish ahead of tomorrow’s Fed meeting but US CB Consumer Confidence for January, prior 115.8, will offer intermediate clues to investors.

Read: Conference Board Consumer Confidence January Preview: Inflation is a shock to the system

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