In Asian Equity Markets indices fell on Wednesday morning after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell tempered expectations for a potential interest rate cut. The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 0.46% in late-morning trade, with shares of index heavyweights Fast Retailing and Softbank Group slipping. The Topix index also fell 0.4%. In South Korea, the Kospi retraced earlier losses to trade near flat while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.11%. Chinese mainland markets also struggled for gains. The Shanghai composite was down 0.16%.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar edged up from a three-month low on Wednesday, as investors dialled back expectations for aggressive U.S. rate cuts next month but broader conviction the Federal Reserve will need to ease policy soon capped greenback gains. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday stressed the central bank’s independence from U.S. President Donald Trump, who is pushing for aggressive rate cuts. The U.S. currency was little changed at 107.16 yen after falling to 106.77 yen, its lowest since its flash crash in early January.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose more than 1% on Wednesday to their highest in nearly a month as industry data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell more than expected, underpinning a market already buoyed by worries over a potential U.S.-Iran conflict. Front-month Brent crude futures, international benchmark for oil, were up 1.3% at $65.91. They earlier touched their highest since May 31 at $66 a barrel.U.S. WTI crude futures were at $58.98 per barrel, up 1.8% from their last settlement. WTI earlier hit its strongest level since May 30 at $59.03 a barrel.
In US Equity Markets indexes fell on Tuesday, led by a sharp selloff in technology shares, as simmering trade concerns and disappointing economic data sent buyers to the sidelines, while the Federal Reserve chairman pushed back on pressure from President Donald Trump to cut interest rates. The S&P 500 lost 0.95%, to 2,917.38 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.51%, to 7,884.72. Tyson Foods Inc and Pilgrims Pride Corp fell1.1% and 1.3%, respectively, after the U.S. Department of Justice opened a criminal probe over possible poultry price fixing.
In Bond Markets U.S. benchmark Treasury yields fluctuated around the key 2% level on Tuesday as investors weighed the prospect of an ongoing U.S.-China trade war against the likelihood that the Federal Reserve may be less dovish than traders expect. Benchmark 10-year yields are holding just above the 1.974% level reached on Thursday, which was the lowest since November 2016. The Treasury Department sold $40 billion in two-year notes on Tuesday to solid demand, the first sale of $113 billion in coupon-bearing supply this week.