Open July 17
In Asian Equity Markets indices fell in Wednesday morning following overnight developments on the US-China trade front. In mainland China, the Shanghai composite was fractionally lower, while the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.31%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 0.43% in afternoon trade, with shares of index heavyweight and conglomerate Softbank Group falling more than 2%. Over in South Korea, the Kospi declined 0.92%, as chip-maker SK Hynix saw its stock fall beyond 1.5%, while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.46%.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar stood firm on Wednesday after upbeat U.S. data further tempered expectations of aggressive policy easing by the Federal Reserve later this month. The struggling pound and euro also provided additional impetus to the U.S. currency. The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was effectively unchanged at 97.365 after gaining 0.5% the previous day. Sterling last traded little changed at $1.2411. The euro was steady at $1.1212 after losing more than 0.4% the previous day.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Wednesday after steep falls in the previous session, although U.S. crude trailed gains for international benchmark Brent after U.S. crude inventories fell less than expected. WTI crude futures were up 6 cents at $57.68, having fallen 3.3% on Tuesday. Brent crude futures were up 25 cents at $64.60, or 0.4%. They ended down 3.2% in the previous session. Crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to July 12 to 460 million, API said on Tuesday, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels.
In US Equity Markets stocks edged lower on Tuesday as quarterly results from banks added to concerns about lower interest rates dampening their profits, while comments from U.S. President Donald Trump on trade also dragged down Wall Street’s major indexes. The S&P 500 lost 0.34%, to 3,004.04 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.43%, to 8,222.80. Shares of J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc jumped 5.6%, the greatest percentage gain among S&P 500 stocks, after the trucking company posted strong quarterly performance in its second-largest unit DCS, which provides final-mile delivery.
In Bond Markets Japanese government bond prices were mostly steady on Wednesday, rebounding from early modest losses after a 20-year debt auction attracted ample investor demand. The five-year JGB yield was unchanged at minus 0.215%. The 10-year yield was down half-a-basis point at minus 0.130% after rising to minus 0.120% earlier. JGB yields edge higher in early trade after U.S. Treasury yields rose overnight in the wake of stronger-than-expected U.S. retail sales data.
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