In Asian Equity Markets stocks fell on Wednesday as trading was buffeted by a step-up in U.S. Treasury yields as well as volatile oil prices in the face of price-cooling moves by the United States and other nations. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 0.05 percent, while Japan’s benchmark Nikkei stock price index fell 1.62 percent as investors returned from a holiday and caught up with global falls the day before. The CSI300 index was unchanged at 4,911.81 points at the end of the morning session, while the Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.1 percent, to 3,585.65 points.

In Currency Markets the dollar was up on Wednesday morning in Asia, paused after a surge following Jerome Powell’s re-appointment as U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman. The New Zealand dollar eased after a smaller-than-expected rate hike from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ). Against the Japanese yen, the dollar edged down 0.11 percent to 115. RBNZ hiked its interest rate to 0.75 percent and raised its long-term cash rate projection by 50 bps as it handed down its policy decision earlier in the day, with the New Zealand dollar falling as far as 0.5 percent to $0.6915.

In US Equity Markets the Nasdaq ended lower for a second straight session on Tuesday, while the S&P 500 rose, as rising Treasury yields prompted investors to sell Tesla and other Big Tech names and buy stocks with lower valuations. The Dow rose 0.55 percent to end at 35,813.8 points, while the S&P 500 gained 0.17 percent to 4,690.7. The Nasdaq Composite lost 0.5 percent to 15,775.14. Zoom Video Communications Inc lost almost 15 percent after its third-quarter revenue growth rate slowed as demand for its video-conferencing tools eased from pandemic-fueled heights last year.

In Commodities Markets oil prices rose to a one-week high on Tuesday after a move by the United States and other consumer nations to release tens of millions of barrels of oil from reserves to try to cool the market fell short of some expectations. Brent futures rose 3.3 percent, to settle at $82.31, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent, to settle at $78.50. Spot gold fell 0.9 percent to $1,788.51 per ounce. Spot silver fell 2.8 percent to $23.49 per ounce, platinum lost 4.7 percent to $964.42 and palladium fell 4.5 percent to $1,865.68.

In European Equity Markets stocks fell to a three-week low on Tuesday, clocking their worst session in nearly two months, as a resurgence in COVID-19 cases raised fears of tighter restrictions, while energy stocks and miners rose on higher commodity prices. The pan-European STOXX 600 shed 1.3 percent. Thyssenkrupp fell 6.1 percent after Swedish activist fund Cevian nearly halved its stake in the German conglomerate. Travel stocks lost 1.8 percent after the United States issued an advisory against movement to Germany and Denmark due to rising COVID-19 cases there.

In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields edged higher in choppy trading in a holiday-shortened week on Tuesday as investors prepared for the Federal Reserve to become more aggressive in fighting inflation after President Joe Biden nominated Chair Jerome Powell for a second term. The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was up 5.7 basis points to 1.682 percent, its highest level in a week and less than 10 basis points below the high for the year, hit in March. The yield on the 30-year Treasury bond was up 6.2 basis points to 2.040 percent.

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