In Asian Equity Markets stocks bounced back on Friday after two days of losses, as news of a call between leaders Xi Jinping and Joe Biden offered some relief to traders struggling to interpret choppy market reactions to central banks’ cautious moves to end stimulus. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan, gained 0.8 percent, reversing losses in recent days to sit just 0.5 percent lower compared to last week’s close, in line with the global trend. Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.05 percent and the broader Topix index touched its best level since 1990.
In Currency Markets the dollar headed for its first winning week in three on Friday after rebounding from a payrolls-induced sell-off, as investors continued to ponder the timing of a tapering of Federal Reserve stimulus. The dollar index fell 0.07 percent to 92.469, but remained on course for a 0.4 percent weekly rise. The euro ticked 0.07 percent higher to $1.18325 on Friday, on track for a 0.39 percent decline this week. The dollar added 0.1 percent to 109.845 yen. The Aussie dollar rose 0.24 percent to $0.7385, tempering its loss for the week to a 0.85 percent decline.
In US Equity Markets stocks ended lower on Thursday after weekly jobless claims fell to a near 18-month low, allaying fears of a slowing economic recovery, but also stoking worries the Fed could move sooner than expected to scale back its accommodative policies. The Dow fell 0.43 percent to end at 34,879.38 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.46 percent to 4,493.28. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.25 percent to 15,248.25. Lululemon Athletica rose 10 percent after providing a strong annual forecast, as demand for its yoga pants remains strong despite the easing of coronavirus restrictions.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Thursday on China’s plan to tap state reserves and a smaller-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude supplies. Brent crude was last down 1.57 percent, at $71.46 a barrel. U.S. crude was last down 1.66 percent at $68.15. Spot gold rose 0.5 percent to $1,797.41 per ounce. Elsewhere, silver rose 0.6 percent to $24.09 per ounce, platinum fell 0.1 percent to $978.93 per ounce, having earlier touched a near three-week low. Palladium lost 3.2 percent to $2,180.27 per ounce, after falling as much as 4.8 percent to $2,143.69, its lowest in more than a year.
In European Equity Markets stocks bounced off session lows to end little changed on Thursday after the European Central Bank signalled it will only slightly reduce its emergency bond purchases over the coming quarter, as widely expected. After falling as much as 0.9 percent in morning trade, the pan-European STOXX 600 index ended largely unchanged around 467.57 points. UK’s FTSE 100 led losses among regional indexes with a 1.0 percent decline. European gaming stocks including France’s Ubisoft, Embracer and Rovio fell 1.6 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.
In Bond Markets longer-dated U.S. Treasury yields moved lower on Thursday after a strong auction for 30-year Treasury bonds closed out $120 billion in coupon-bearing supply this week. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was down 4.3 basis points at 1.297 percent, after hitting a daily low of 1.287 percent, its lowest since Sept. 3. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was down 5.4 basis points at 1.898 percent after falling to 1.885 percent, its lowest since Aug. 31. The two-year U.S. Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was down 0.4 basis point at 0.214 percent.