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WASHINGTON, D. C., RAW – Asian stocks are poised to follow Wall Street lower on Wednesday as the cost of the US stimulus and infrastructure plans and new pandemic curbs limited investors’ risk appetite.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index futures fell 0.2 per cent. In Japan, Nikkei futures were 0.6 per cent lower. Australian futures traded either side of unchanged.

Small cap stocks, energy and international equities fell on Tuesday.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 308.05 points, or 0.94 per cent, to 32,423.15, the S&P 500 lost 30.07 points, or 0.76 per cent, to 3,910.52 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 149.85 points, or 1.12 per cent, to 13,227.70.

Benchmark 10-year notes rose 19/32 in price to yield 1.6153 per cent, from 1.682 per cent late on Monday after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen spoke to Congress.

Powell downplayed the risk of inflation. Yellen said the US economy remains at risk as she fielded lawmakers’ questions about possible infrastructure and tax increase plans under consideration.

Crude oil futures tumbled more than 6 per cent due to demand concerns amid a third wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

Germany extended its lockdown to April 18. A US health agency said the AstraZeneca Plc vaccine developed with Oxford University may have included outdated information in its data, further fuelling investor concerns over the recovery.

“Risk assets continued their second day of decline, as outbreak concerns rose in Europe. The bond market saw heavy inflows, further flattening the long-end of the curve,” Commonwealth Bank of Australia market analysts said note.

The US dollar rose against a basket of major currencies, weighing on gold prices.

US manufacturing data was due later on Wednesday and Powell was expected to give the same prepared testimony to a Senate banking panel.