In Asian Equity Markets stocks fell to a one-week low on Monday and perceived safe haven assets, including the yen and gold, edged higher amid fears of rising inflation and a surge in coronavirus cases, while oil prices fell on oversupply worries. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.1 percent for a second straight day of losses to 677.45, a level not seen since July 12. Japan’s Nikkei lost 1.3 percent as did Australia’s benchmark share index. South Korea’s KOSPI was 1 percent lower, while Chinese stocks also started on the backfoot with the blue-chip index down 0.6 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar sat near its highest levels in months on Monday as the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant made investors nervous about the global recovery and sent money into safety. The Aussie was last down 0.2 percent at $0.7381 and the New Zealand dollar also fell 0.2 percent to $0.6986. The yen, which rose broadly, was up 0.2 percent at 109.90 per dollar and up by about the same margin at 129.69 per euro. The U.S. dollar index held at 92.729. The euro fetched $1.1801, just a touch away from last week’s three month low of $1.1772.
In US Equity Markets stocks ended lower on Friday, weighed down by declines in Amazon, Apple and other heavyweight technology stocks, while investors worried about a rise in coronavirus cases tied to the highly contagious Delta variant. The Dow fell 0.86 percent to end at 34,686.08 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.75 percent to 4,327.19. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.78 percent to 14,429.43. Moderna Inc rose to a record high after S&P Dow Jones Indices said the drugmaker will join the S&P 500 index as of the start of trading on July 21, replacing Alexion Pharmaceuticals
In Commodities Markets oil ended the week lower, sapped in volatile trade by expectations of growing supplies just when a rise in coronavirus cases could lead to lockdown restrictions and depress demand. Brent crude settled down 12 cents at $73.59 a barrel. U.S. crude rose 16 cents to end at $71.81 a barrel. Spot gold lost 0.8 percent to $1,814.11 per ounce, though it was up 0.3 percent so far this week. Elsewhere palladium slid 3.2 percent to $2,644.20 an ounce, en route to its first weekly decline in four, while platinum lost 2.9 percent to $1,105.03. Silver shed 2.3 percent to $25.71 an ounce.
In European Equity Markets stocks rose on Friday as travel stocks rebounded after posting sharp losses this week, while a batch of upbeat earnings reports overshadowed concerns about rising cases of Delta variant in the continent. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.1 percent. Travel and leisure stocks gained 1.1 percent, with shares in UK’s Whitbread, Intercontinental Hotels and British-Airways owner IAG up almost 3 percent. UK’s FTSE 100 and midcap stocks added 0.3 percent each ahead Britain’s lifting of all pandemic-led restrictions on Monday despite rising COVID-19 cases.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields pared most of Friday’s gains as doubts about the economic recovery’s strength and dovish Federal Reserve policy were seen as likely to cap yields in the near-term, even after U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rose in June. Benchmark 10-year notes gained half a basis point on the day to 1.302 percent. They are holding just above last week’s five-month lows of 1.250 percent and are down from 1.776 percent in March. The yield curve between two-year and 10-year notes was little changed on the day at 107 basis points.