In Asian Equity Markets stocks followed Wall Street sharply lower and bonds rallied on Friday, as risk sentiment soured amid growing worries that inflation may persist even after global growth has peaked. Japan’s Nikkei lost 2.52 percent to the lowest level since Sept. 3, while Australian stocks fell 2.02 percent, South Korea’s Kospi lost 1.50 percent, and Taiwan’s benchmark decreased 2.18 percent. An MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks slid 1.33 percent to its lowest since Aug. 24. Chinese markets are closed for a week from Friday for the Golden Week holiday.
In Currency Markets the dollar began the last quarter of 2021 near its highest levels of the year and headed for its best week since June, as currency markets braced for U.S. interest rates to rise before those of major peers. The euro fell 0.1 percent early on Friday to $1.1572 and has fallen 1.3 percent this week, tumbling through major support around $1.16 to touch its lowest levels since July 2020. The Australian dollar rose 0.7 percent overnight. Sterling traded just above a 9-month low at $1.3445. The dollar index stood at 94.327, having gained 1.1 percent so far this week.
In US Equity Markets stocks ended sharply lower on Thursday and the S&P 500 posted its worst month since the onset of the global health crisis, following a tumultuous month and quarter wracked by concerns over COVID-19, inflation fears and budget wrangling in Washington. The Dow fell 1.59 percent, to 33,843.92, the S&P 500 lost 1.19 percent, to 4,307.54 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.44 percent, to 14,448.58. The S&P growth index fell 5.8 percent in September but notched a quarterly gain of 1.7 percent. Value shed 3.5 percent in September and 1.4 percent over the July-to-September period.
In Commodities Markets gold prices rose more than 2 percent on Thursday after the dollar fell on dismal U.S. weekly jobs numbers, but recent declines driven by expectations the Federal Reserve will soon start tapering its economic support kept bullion on track for a quarterly decline. Spot gold was up 1.7 percent at $1,755.56 per ounce. Silver rose nearly 2.5 percent to $22.04 per ounce. Platinum gained 1.3 percent to $962.61, while palladium was up 2.4 percent at $1,901.41. U.S. crude oil futures settled at $75.03 per barrel, up 0.3 percent. Brent crude futures settled at $78.52 per barrel, down 0.2 percent.
In European Equity Markets stocks ended flat on Thursday as declines in travel and leisure limited gains in miners, while ending the month with falls of over 3 percent on worries about a slowing global economy and higher inflation. The pan-regional STOXX 600 index was 0.05 percent lower, with miners rising 2.0 percent and travel stocks falling 2.2 percent. Defensives-heavy Swiss market is among the biggest decliners this month, while banking-heavy Spanish and British indexes remained buoyant. Sweden’s H&M was 3.4 percent lower after the retailer said supply disruptions hit sales in September.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell on Thursday while stocks moved down amid mixed economic signals, as investors watched budget talks in Washington and rebalanced portfolios with the end of September. The benchmark 10-year yield was down 1.7 basis points at 1.5219 percent. The yield on 10-year Treasury Inflation Protected Securities was at -0.857 percent and the breakeven inflation rate was at 2.386 percent. The two-year U.S. Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was down about a basis point at 0.2892 percent.