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  • Asian equities remain subdued thanks to rising US Treasury yields.
  • Risk appetite is stuck in the middle as the Pacific theater remains hung up on trade tensions.

Asian equities are striking a subdued note for Wednesday, with Japanese indexes soft  on the day, China spreading their bets, and emerging markets taking a more noticeable bearish stance as broader markets continue to get rattled by rising global trade tensions, as well as a healthy dose  of fear for rising US Treasury yields.

US 10-year yields hit an almost eight-year high today, while the 40-year Treasury likewise clipped into a four-year peak before slipping back, keeping fear levels stoked amongst global investors. In Japan, the mood was notably mild, with the Nikkei 225 sitting at -0.08% and the Tokyo Topix index in the green for 0.12%.

In China, major bourses split the middle, with the Hong Kong Hang Seng index up on the day by nearly 0.45% but the Shanghai CSI 300 index retreated by a comparable -0.40%. The spunky Australian ASX 200 is moderately higher on the day at 0.25%, but fear of rising Treasury yields is gripping emerging markets, taking the MSCI broad Asia-Pacific index down -0.90%.

Nikkei 225 levels to watch

The Nikkei index is struggling to maintain a foothold near the 23,500 handle after slipping from a decades-high last week near 24,500, and the index sees limited support until the 23,000 major technical barrier that kept prices constrained for the majority of 2018.