In Asian Equity Markets stocks fell on Monday as concerns about China’s property sector and inflation worries offset upbeat U.S. data and positive news on new drugs to fight the coronavirus. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.1 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell as much as 2.7 percent to edge near its one-year low touched last month while Japan’s Nikkei stood 1.1 percent lower at one-month lows. Chinese mainland markets will be closed until Thursday for the National Day holiday while South Korean markets were also shut on Monday.
In Currency Markets the safe-haven dollar found support just below last week’s peaks on Monday as renewed concerns about China’s property sector and looming U.S. labour data put investors in a cautious mood. The euro fell back below $1.16 and at $1.1598 is not far from last week’s trough at $1.1563. The yen was little changed at 111.065 per dollar. The offshore yuan fell about 0.3 percent. The Australian dollar was about flat at $0.72685, and the New Zealand dollar was little changed at $0.6941. The pound was about flat from last week at $1.3540.
In US Equity Markets stocks rose to a higher close on Friday, entering the final quarter of 2021 in a buying mood boosted by positive economic data, progress in the battle against COVID, and Washington developments on the potential passage of an infrastructure bill. The Dow rose 1.43 percent, to 34,326.46; the S&P 500 gained 1.15 percent, at 4,357.04; and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.82 percent, at 14,566.70. The healthcare sector was weighed down by a 11.4 percent decline in shares of COVID vaccine maker Moderna Inc in the wake of the Merck news.
In Commodities Markets gold inched higher on Friday as a weaker dollar and worries about rising inflation and risks to growth countered bets for looming interest rate hikes, keeping bullion on course for a small weekly gain. Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,759.13 per ounce. Silver added 1.5 percent to $22.53 per ounce. Platinum rose 1.1 percent to $974.41 per ounce, and palladium rose 0.8 percent to $1,924.18, but both were set to fall for the week. U.S. crude oil futures settled at $75.88 per barrel, up 1.1 percent. Brent crude futures settled at $79.28 per barrel, up 1.2 percent.
In European Equity Markets stocks fell to their lowest in two months on Friday, as warnings from companies and factory activity data highlighted the economic headwinds from supply-chain constraints and elevated prices. The Europe-wide STOXX 600 index fell 0.4 percent in a weak start to October, which has traditionally been a rough month for equities, with technology, miners and banks leading broad declines. BMW AG rose 1.3 percent after lifting its annual profit margin forecast as higher prices for new and used vehicles outweighed the effect of supply-chain issues.
In Bond Markets traders sent longer-term U.S. Treasury yields lower on Friday as they repositioned for the year’s fourth quarter, although Washington’s budget battles sent up yields on soon-to-mature debt. The benchmark 10-year yield was down 5 basis points at 1.4771 percent. It had reached as high as 1.51 percent overnight but settled despite positive economic data showing U.S. consumer spending increased more than expected in August. The two-year U.S. Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was down 2.3 basis points at 0.2657 percent.