LONDON -The S&P 500 and the Dow opened lower on Friday after closing at record highs in the previous session, as a spike in US bond yields reignited inflation worries and dented appetite for high-growth stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 23.2 points, or 0.07 percent, at the open to 32462.4 and the S&P 500 fell 14.8 points, or 0.38 percent, at the open to 3924.52, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 175.9 points, or 1.31 percent, to 13222.813 at the opening bell.

Gains in Asian stock markets proved tough to match for most European peers, after they hit a one-year high the day before. US stock futures also suggested a lower start for Wall Street later in the day.

The note of caution followed the signing of a US$1.9 trillion US stimulus bill into law on Thursday and a further dovish tilt from the European Central Bank that had prompted a retreat in bond yields and eased global concerns about rising inflation.

The burst of market optimism from those events had helped Asian shares rise – Japan’s Nikkei added 1.7 percent – but this faded out as Europe opened for business, with the STOXX Europe 600 down around 0.5 percent.

That in turn weighed on the MSCI World Index, taking it into the red, down 0.1 percent, albeit less than 1.5 percent away from the record high hit last month.

“We have recently seen some erratic market moves across asset classes, as well as within equity market sectors and styles. A period of digestion thus seems logical and healthy,” Barclays analyst Emmanuel Cau said in a note.

Earlier, the European Central Bank had said it was ready to accelerate money-printing to keep a lid on borrowing costs.

“The odds are that European fixed income outperforms as sovereign curves, particularly in the periphery, will flatten and that the spread between the US and European interest rate curve will widen,” said Nordea analyst Sebastien Galy.

Against that backdrop of super-loose monetary policy, analysts largely expect inflation to pick up as vaccine rollouts lead to a reopening, leading to worries that Biden’s stimulus package could overheat the economy.

“If inflation remains contained at low levels, then there will be little pressure on the Federal Reserve to raise rates and in such a scenario, robust growth and abundant liquidity may continue to drive markets higher,” said Mark Dowding, CIO at BlueBay Asset Management.

“However, if inflation trends upwards, then bond yields and policy rates will rise and this may create a much more challenging market dynamic.”

US 10-year Treasury yields rose again on Friday, back above 1.6 percent and on track to rise for the seventh straight week.

Given market moves, all eyes will be on the next meeting of the US Federal Reserve next week for clues to its views on rising yields and the threat of inflation.

In currency markets, the dollar gained 0.6 percent against the yen and 0.5 percent against the euro and pound, although the latter was helped by news the economy had contracted less than expected in January.

The dollar index, meanwhile, which tracks the US currency against a basket of six major rivals, rose 0.5 percent.

Markets are likely to remain volatile in the second quarter, particularly for the dollar, which was much stronger than expected at the start of the year, said Cliff Zhao, chief strategist at China Construction Bank International.

“So I think the strong US dollar may weigh on some liquidity conditions in the emerging markets,” he said.

Oil prices retreated as the dollar gained, with US crude dipping 0.4 percent to US$65.77 a barrel. Brent crude lost 0.2 percent to US$69.47 per barrel.

Spot gold prices fell 1.2 percent to US$1,701.9 an ounce.