In Asian Equity Markets stocks fell on Thursday, in line with a cautious global mood as investors worried about the combination of slowing global growth and the potential tapering of central bank stimulus. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost 1.04 percent while Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.38 percent. There were losses in Australia down 1.01 percent, Korea off 0.74 percent, and in Hong Kong which shed 1.17 percent, with tech names leading the declines there. The Hang Seng Tech Index fell 2.44 percent in early trading. Chinese blue chips were down 0.41 percent just after the bell.
In Currency Markets the dollar was supported on Thursday as doubts over the global economy’s strength subdued risk sentiment, while the euro steadied ahead of a European Central Bank policy meeting later in the day that is expected result in a reduction in stimulus. The dollar index remained flat at 92.664, after three consecutive days of rises. The euro steadied to around $1.1819. The franc gained 0.15 percent to 0.9204 per dollar. The yen was little moved at 110.20 yen to the dollar. Sterling eased to $1.3763, having peaked at $1.38905 on Friday, while the Australian dollar fell to $0.7357.
In US Equity Markets stocks ended lower on Wednesday, spooked by worries that the Delta coronavirus variant could blunt the economy’s recovery and on uncertainty about when the Federal Reserve may pull back its accommodative policies. The Dow fell 0.2 percent to end at 35,031.07 points, while the S&P 500 lost 0.13 percent to 4,514.07. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.57 percent to 15,286.64. U.S. payments giant PayPal Holdings Inc declined 2.7 percent after it said it would acquire Japanese buy now, pay later firm Paidy in a $2.7 billion largely cash deal.
In Commodities Markets gold fell to a two-week low on Wednesday as strength in the dollar and higher U.S. Treasury yields outweighed the boost to bullion from deepening concerns about global economic growth. Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,792.27 per ounce. Silver fell 1.2 percent to $24.02 per ounce, platinum lost 1.7 percent to $981.77, and palladium shed 4.8 percent to $2,259.23. U.S. crude oil rose 1.39 percent to $69.32 a barrel and Brent crude rose 1.4 percent to $72.69 per barrel, with prices supported by a slow restart to production in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ida hit the region.
In European Equity Markets stocks marked their biggest decline in three weeks on Wednesday, a day before a ECB meeting that will see policymakers debate a cut in its pandemic-era stimulus program. The Europe-focused STOXX 600 index fell 1.1 percent, with automobile stocks leading losses with a 2.2 percent decline. French drugmaker Sanofi fell 2.5 percent after it agreed to buy U.S. biopharmaceutical company Kadmon Holdings Inc in a $1.9 billion deal. British industrial technology company Smiths Group rose 2.6 percent after it agreed to sell its medical unit to U.S.-based ICU Medical Inc for $2.4 billion.
In Bond Markets longer-dated U.S. government bond yields fell on Wednesday and touched a session low after a strong auction by the Treasury of 10-year notes and the Fed’s Beige Book of economic activity. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was down 3.9 basis points to 1.333 percent. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was down 3.6 basis points to 1.950 percent. The two-year U.S. Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was down 0.4 basis points at 0.218 percent. Germany’s 10-year Bund yield also hit eight-week highs before edging lower to -0.32 percent.