In Asian Equity Markets stocks headed for a weekly loss on Friday as the prospect of aggressive global rate hikes finally began to rattle investors, while bonds fell and the dollar looked set for its best week in a month. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was steady in morning trade and down about 1.5 percent for the week so far. Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.2 percent on Friday to head for a weekly loss of nearly 3 percent. The CSI300 index rose 0.1 percent to 4,211.81, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent to 3,234.82. The Hang Seng index fell 0.6 percent to 21,684.44.
In Currency Markets the dollar was up on Friday morning in Asia, hitting a one-month high against the euro as a more hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy supported the U.S. currency. The U.S. Dollar Index inched up 0.08 percent to 99.838. Against the Japanese yen, the dollar inched up 0.04 percent to 123.97. The Aussie dollar was steady at $0.7479 and the kiwi edged down 0.13 percent to $0.6881. The euro fell to a new one-month low of $1.0856 in early Asian trading after the European Union moved towards banning Russian coal from August 2022 onwards.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 ended higher on Thursday, with Pfizer and Tesla fueling a late-session rally while investors eyed the war in Ukraine and a potentially more aggressive Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 gained 0.40 percent, to end at 4,498.98 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.04 percent, to 13,894.60. The Dow rose 0.27 percent, to 34,590.01. American Airlines Group Inc, Delta Air Lines Inc , Southwest Airlines Co and United Airlines Holdings Inc fell after Barclays warned of a recent jump in oil prices hurting first-quarter earnings.
In Commodities Markets oil settled lower on Thursday, adding to weekly losses on uncertainty that the euro zone will be able to effectively sanction Russian energy exports and after consuming nations announced a huge release of oil from emergency reserves. Brent crude futures fell 0.5 percent, to settle at $100.58 a barrel while U.S. WTI crude fell 0.6 percent, to settle at $96.03 a barrel. Spot gold was up 0.5 percent to $1,934.69 per ounce. In other metals, silver rose 0.6 percent to $24.58 per ounce and platinum gained 0.9 percent to $961.53. Palladium rose as much as 3.7 percent to around $2,278.
In European Equity Markets stocks reversed early gains to skid on Thursday, as risks from a hawkish Federal Reserve and Washington’s new sanctions on Russia kept investors on edge, while defensive stocks advanced. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 0.2 percent, paring back gains made earlier in the day, after losing 1.5 percent in their worst session in a month on Wednesday. French stocks fell 0.6 percent after losing more than 3 percent in the last two sessions ahead of April 10 voting in the first round of the presidential race.
In Bond Markets the U.S. Treasury 10-year yield rose near a three-year high on Thursday and the 2 year-10 year spread widened as traders, having priced in a string of rate hikes from the U.S. central bank, have sharpened their focus on the pace and scope of the Fed’s plans to reduce its balance sheet. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was up 4.1 basis points to 2.650 percent while the 2-year note yield was down 5.7 basis points at 2.445 percent. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was up 7.1 basis points to 2.703 percent, its highest since May 2019.