A gauge of Asian stocks was steady Wednesday after U.S. equities inched lower as the tussle between economic optimism and inflation concern continues to play out in markets. Japanese stocks outperformed and Australian equities were bolstered by robust economic figures. Hong Kong and China slipped.

U.S. equity futures were flat after the S&P 500 closed slightly lower. U.S. manufacturing data topped estimates overnight but also signaled supply shortages and labor constraints.

Oil rose to a more than two-year peak, with OPEC+ providing an upbeat demand assessment and the prospect of a speedy return of Iranian barrels waning. Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury yields edged up.

The dollar was steady in Asian trading. The Turkish lira fell to a record low against the greenback after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan renewed calls for lower interest rates.

Global stocks are looking for fresh catalysts as they hover at record highs. Concerns linger that the recovery from the pandemic will stoke inflation and prompt central banks to pare back policy support earlier than anticipated. Traders await key U.S. payrolls data Friday for a steer on the outlook.

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