In Asian Equity Markets indices climbed Thursday following gains on Wall Street and as British lawmakers rejected the idea of leaving the European Union without a Brexit deal in place. The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.88 percent while the Topix index was up 0.71 percent in early trade. In South Korea, the Kospi added 0.38 percent. Australia's benchmark ASX 200 traded up 0.29 percent. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.1 percent. China’s Shanghai Composite gauge fell 0.6 percent.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar edged back from a nine-day low early on Thursday, as a big rally by the pound made on Brexit relief tapered off and gave the greenback some reprieve. The dollar index, a gauge of the currency’s strength against six major counterparts, stood little changed at 96.505. It shed 0.4 percent overnight, at one point brushing a nine-day trough of 96.385. The greenback had taken a knock as the pound rallied more than 2 percent after British lawmakers voted against a potentially disorderly “no-deal” departure from the European Union late.
In Commodities Markets oil prices traded higher on Thursday to sit just off a four-month high reached in the previous session as investors focused on global production cuts and supply disruptions in Venezuela. International Brent crude oil futures were at $67.61 a barrel, up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last close. Brent touched $67.76 a barrel on Wednesday, its highest since Nov. 16. U.S. WTI crude futures were at $58.29 per barrel, up 3 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last settlement. WTI hit a high of $58.48 a barrel on Wednesday, the highest since Nov. 13.
In US Equity Markets stocks rose on Wednesday, led by gains in healthcare shares, and Boeing edged upward even as the United States joined other nations in grounding the company’s 737 MAX jets. The S&P 500 gained 0.69 percent, to 2,810.92 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.69 percent, to 7,643.41. CVS Health Corp rose 3.5 percent after Bernstein started coverage of the pharmacy benefit manager with an “outperform” rating. The S&P 500 healthcare index rose 1.1 percent. UnitedHealth Group shares rose 2.6 percent.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Wednesday after falling the previous session, as risk appetite improved and equity markets stabilized, with a poor 30-year bond auction further lifting rates. U.S. 10-year note yields rose to 2.612 percent from 2.605 percent late on Tuesday. U.S. 30-year bond yields were up at 3.011 percent from 2.99 percent on Tuesday. Wednesday's U.S. 30-year auction was not nearly as strong as Tuesday's 10-year note sale. The auction stopped at 3.014 percent, higher than the expected rate at the bid deadline.
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