In Asian Equity Markets stocks rallied on Thursday, bonds nursed losses and oil held onto sharp gains as investors seemed to set aside virus jitters for now and looked ahead to the European Central Bank for reassurance that policy support will continue for some time. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan followed Wall Street higher and rose 1 percent with broad gains from Sydney to Seoul and Hong Kong. Japanese markets are closed until Monday. The Shanghai Composite index was up 0.33 percent at 3,574.30 points. China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.16 percent.
In Currency Markets the safe-harbour U.S. dollar and yen remained on the back foot on Thursday, after pulling back from multi-month highs amid a recovery in risk appetite as strong earnings lifted Wall Street stocks. The dollar index stood at 92.810 after pulling back from a 3 1/2-month high of 93.194 touched on Wednesday. The yen traded at 130.045 per euro, while the euro stood at $1.1789 . Sterling traded at $1.3708, recovering from a 5 1/2-month trough of $1.35725 reached on Tuesday, despite rising Delta variant cases in Britain and confusion about the lifting of restrictions in England.
In US Equity Markets stocks posted their second straight daily gain on Wednesday, with robust corporate earnings and renewed optimism about the U.S. economic recovery fueling a risk-on rally. The Dow rose 0.83 percent, to 34,798, the S&P 500 gained 0.82 percent, to 4,358.69 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.92 percent, to 14,631.95. A rebound in travel helped fuel United Airlines’ revenue beat, boosting its stock by 3.8 percent. The S&P 1500 Airlines index gained 3.3 percent, while the S&P 1500 Hotels, Restaurant and Leisure index advanced 2.9 percent.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Wednesday as improved risk appetite provided support despite data showing an unexpected rise in U.S. crude inventories last week and a weaker demand outlook due to rising COVID-19 infections. U.S. crude rose 4.75 percent to $70.39 per barrel and Brent was at $72.32, up 4.28 percent on the day. Spot gold fell 0.4 percent to $1,803.11 per ounce. In other precious metals, silver rose 1.1 percent to $25.19 per ounce, palladium was up 1 percent at $2,659.89 and platinum gained 1 percent to $1,077.03.
In European Equity Markets a slew of upbeat updates from European blue-chip firms helped the region’s benchmark index rise on Wednesday and further recover from Monday’s sharp losses, while travel stocks roared back after weeks of declines. The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 1.4 percent, extending Tuesday’s small gains. Travel and leisure stocks rose 4.2 percent after getting hammered recently by worries about a resurgence in virus cases. Among decliners, German business software group SAP slid 1.9 percent despite raising its outlook for the second time this year.
In Bond Markets yields on U.S. Treasuries rebounded for a second day on Wednesday, with a sale of 20-year government debt on the weak side, as fears of new COVID-19 lockdowns eased and a rally in equity markets suggested renewed optimism about a robust economic recovery. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was up 8.8 basis points to 1.297 percent, after briefly crossing above 1.3 percent earlier in trading. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was up 7.4 basis points to 1.943 percent. The breakeven rate on five-year U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) was last at 2.482 percent.