Tech-Fueled Selloff Goes Global on Inflation Fears

A technology-led selloff that started on Wall Street reverberated across the world as worries over inflation pushed investors to dump expensive stocks. Treasury yields edged higher and the dollar linger near the weakest levels of this year…

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 Index fell almost 2% at the start of regular trading, while the benchmark S&P 500 slumped for a second day after closing at a record high on Friday. The benchmark for European stocks tumbled the most this year, after its Asian peer posted the biggest drop since March.

Debate rages over whether the expected jump in price pressures will be enduring enough to force the Federal Reserve into tightening policy sooner than current guidance suggests. A measure of U.S. inflation expectations reached the highest level since 2006.

“What’s interesting about tech and the selloff is that it comes in the face of stable yields, a Fed that is likely on hold for a while and some very strong earnings,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist for the U.S. SPDR exchange-traded fund business at State Street Global Advisors. “Markets seem to be anticipating some time of move in rates and inflation that could potentially be problematic for the tech and growth trade.”

Among the biggest pandemic winners, tech stocks whose valuations often depend on earnings prospects far into the future are now at the center of the inflation-fueled selloff. That was epitomized in Cathie Wood’s Ark Innovation ETF, which has tumbled almost 20% so far this year after surging almost 150% in 2020.

Read more: Global Tech Rout Deepens as Sector Slides Further From Peaks

Even after the declines, the Nasdaq trades at 26 times the 12-month projected profits, while the gauge of European technology shares enjoys a valuation of 29 times.

Wednesday’s U.S. inflation report along with a series of U.S. government bond auctions this week are seen as the next factors to deepen or arrest the slide. The latest reading is expected to show an accelerated pace of consumer-price increases, with the year-on-year comparison made starker by the pandemic shock in 2020.

Copper prices traded near a record, while iron also rallied. Oil dipped as traders monitored progress on reopening the largest U.S. oil-products pipeline, which was paralyzed by a cyberattack, and is expected to be mostly back online by the weekend.

See here the MLIV Question of the Day: How Far Can Reflation Trades Go?

Here are some key events to watch this week:

A range of Fed speakers are due this week, including Governor Lael Brainard on Tuesday OPEC monthly Oil Market Report is published with global demand forecasts and production estimates Tuesday U.S. CPI report Wednesday is forecast to…

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