In Asian Equity Markets stocks rose in a choppy session on Thursday as a bit of nervous tension over Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan dissipated and as investors took cues from robust U.S. data and earnings. Hong Kong tech shares led the attempted rebound with a gain of 2.8 percent, reeling in some of the losses suffered as Sino-U.S. frictions flared over a visit to Taipei this week by House of Representatives Speaker Pelosi, which angered China. The Hang Seng rose 1.7 percent. Japan’s Nikkei rose 0.7 percent. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares gained 0.5 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar held onto recent gains on Thursday, helped by several U.S. Federal Reserve officials pushing back against suggestions they will slow the pace of interest rate hikes, while the pound was flat ahead of a Bank of England policy decision. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six peers, was holding firm at 106.37 having eked out small gains overnight. The euro was flat at $1.01635 and the Japanese yen, lost a little ground to 134.06 yen per dollar. The Australian dollar was at $0.695 on Thursday, up 0.15 percent.
In US Equity Markets stocks ended sharply higher on Wednesday, with strong profit forecasts from PayPal and CVS Health Corp lifting sentiment and helping elevate the Nasdaq to its highest level since early May. The S&P 500 climbed 1.56 percent to end the session at 4,155.12 points. The Nasdaq gained 2.59 percent to 12,668.16 points, while Dow rose 1.29 percent to 32,812.50 points. Of the 11 S&P 500 sector indexes, 10 rose, led by information technology, up 2.69 percent, followed by a 2.52 percent gain in consumer discretionary.
In Commodities Markets oil prices slid about 4 percent on Wednesday to almost six-month lows, after U.S. data showed crude and gasoline stockpiles unexpectedly rose last week and as OPEC+ said it would raise its oil output target by 100,000 barrels per day (bpd). Brent crude futures settled down 3.7 percent, at $96.78 a barrel. WTI crude futures fell 4 percent, to $90.66, the lowest settlement since Feb. 10. Spot gold rose 0.1 percent to $1,761.76 per ounce. Spot silver rose 0.2 percent to $20.00 per ounce, platinum was up 0.5 percent to $898.21, while palladium fell 1.8 percent to $2,024.73.
In European Equity Markets stocks fell in early trading on Wednesday ahead of key business growth data, while broader markets weighed the potential fallout from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan. The STOXX 600 index fell 0.2 percent. Luxury carmaker BMW fell 5.5 percent after warning of a highly volatile second half. Infineon, the leading supplier of microchips to the auto industry, rose 3.1 percent on lifting its full-year outlook as it posted a 33 percent year-on-year increase in quarterly revenue.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell from two-week highs on Wednesday in choppy trading, as investors digested strong U.S. economic data and hawkish comments from Federal Reserve officials that suggested more rate hikes are on the horizon. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes fell 2.9 bps to 2.7137 percent, after earlier hitting a two-week high of 2.851 percent. The two-year U.S. Treasury yield, which typically tracks rate expectations, was little changed at 3.0774 percent. Earlier, that yield touched a two-week peak of 3.2 percent.