In Asian Equity Markets stocks headed lower on Friday as profit-taking in Taiwanese chip giant TSMC, despite record profits, weighed on other tech firms and broader risk sentiment, while a more dovish U.S. rates outlook kept bond yields near multi-month lows. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 0.4 percent, weighed by a 0.8 percent decline each in China’s blue-chip index and Taiwanese shares after TSMC’s earnings on Thursday. South Korea’s Kospi was down 0.4 percent and Japan’s Nikkei fell about 1 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar was headed for its best weekly gain in about a month on Friday, supported by investors’ drift toward safety as rising COVID-19 infections loomed over the pandemic recovery, while a hot inflation reading sharply lifted the New Zealand dollar. The kiwi was last up 0.6 percent at $0.7020, after consumer prices rose far faster than expected, bringingforward markets’ rate hike expectations to August. The safe-haven yen has also been firm, with a loss of 0.1 percent on the dollar. It last bought 109.99 per dollar and 129.88 per euro.
In US Equity Markets the Nasdaq ended lower on Thursday, pulled down by Apple, Amazon and other Big Tech companies as a fall in weekly jobless claims data fed investor concerns about a recent inflation spike. The Dow rose 0.15 percent to end at 34,987.02 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.33 percent to 4,360.03. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.7 percent to 14,543.13. The S&P 500 technology sector index fell 0.8 percent. The S&P 500 energy sector index fell 1.4 percent and tracked a decline in crude prices on expectations of more supply after a compromise agreement between leading OPEC producers.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Thursday as investors braced for increased supplies after a compromise agreement between leading OPEC producers and after a surprisingly low weekly reading on U.S. fuel demand. Brent crude fell $1.29 to settle at $73.47 a barrel, while U.S. crude slid $1.48 to $71.65 a barrel. Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,829.16 per ounce. Elsewhere, silver rose 0.1 percent to $26.27 per ounce, while platinum climbed 0.6 percent to $1,135.95, after rising to a one-month high. Palladium lost 3.6 percent to $2,726.90 an ounce.
In European Equity Markets losses on Thursday knocked stocks 1.2 percent off all-time highs as a clutch of dismal earnings and falling bond yields dampened sentiment, while UK-listed Avast rose 18 percent on merger talks. The pan-European STOXX 600 index fell 1 percent, with the oil and gas sector falling 2.7 lost to a six-month low. Siemens Energy slid 11.1 percent after scrapping its margin target as Siemens Gamesa was hit by higher-than-expected raw material and product ramp-up costs. Oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and BP fell more than 2 percent as crude prices fell on expectations of more supplies.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell to one-week lows on Thursday as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified before Congress for the second day that rising inflation is likely to be transitory and that the U.S. central bank would continue to support the economy. Benchmark 10-year yields fell six basis points on Thursday to 1.297 percent. The yield curve between two-year and 10-year notes flattened five basis points to 107 basis points. The rally in U.S. and European bond prices, which show the inverse of yields, suggested growing investor caution.