Open Jul 22
In Asian Equity Markets indices traded lower. In mainland China, the Shanghai composite fell 0.36% in early trade. The STAR market started trading in Shanghai on Monday, as shares of the first batch of 25 companies jumped in early trade following a massive over-subscription prior to their public debut. Over in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index fell 0.86%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 0.3% in morning trade, with shares of convenience store chain Familymart falling about 2%. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 traded fractionally higher.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar held recent gains on Monday as investors tempered some of their expectations for deep U.S. interest rate cuts this month and heightened Middle East tensions supported safe-haven assets. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, was barely changed at 97.147 after gaining 0.35% last week. The euro was flat at $1.1217, after declining 0.4% last week. The pound held around $1.2507, staying on a downward slope since mid-March largely led by political uncertainty in the country.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Monday amid high tensions in the Middle East after a British tanker was seized by the Iranian military at the end of last week. Brent crude futures were up 51 cents, or 0.8%, at$62.98 a barrel. The international benchmark rose to as high as $63.47 earlier. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 15 cents, or 0.3%, at $55.78. WTI fell over 7% and Brent fell more than 6% last week. The IEA is reducing its 2019 oil demand growth forecast to 1.1 million barrels per day from 1.2 million bpd due to a slowing global economy.
In US Equity Markets indices fell on Friday following a report that the Federal Reserve plans to cut interest rates by only a quarter-percentage point at the end of the month. The S&P 500 fell 0.62%, to 2,976.61 and the Nasdaq Composite declined 0.74%, to 8,146.49. Kansas City Southern shares rose 4.6% after the railroad operator posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit. Its shares helped the Dow Jones Transport index gain 0.6%. For the week, the Dow lost 0.64%, the S&P fell 1.23% and the Nasdaq shed 1.19%.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Friday as investors evaluated comments from two influential Federal Reserve officials on Thursday, which increased expectations that the U.S. central bank may cut its benchmark interest rate by more than previously expected when it meets this month. John Williams, vice chairman of the Fed’s rate-setting committee and head of the regional Fed bank in New York, said when rates and inflation are low, policymakers cannot afford to keep their “powder dry” and wait for potential economic problems to materialize.
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