In Asian Equity Markets indices were mixed in Friday morning trade as investors awaited the release of Chinese trade data. Mainland Chinese shares were lower in early trade, with the Shanghai composite falling 0.16 percent. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.33 percent. The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.33 percent in morning trade, as shares of index heavyweight Fast Retailing jumped more than 7 percent. The ASX 200 in Australia added 0.62 percent, with almost all sectors advancing.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar held firm on Friday after strong U.S. labour and inflation data soothed concerns about the world’s largest economy, while falling oil prices weighed on commodity-linked currencies such as the Canadian and Australian dollars. The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was steady at 97.166 after climbing 0.25 percent the previous day. The Canadian dollar was more or less steady at C$1.3385 per dollar after shedding 0.5 percent the previous day as crude oil prices retreated from five-month highs.
In Commodities Markets oil prices were firm on Friday, supported by ongoing supply cuts led by producer club OPEC and by U.S. sanctions on petroleum exporters Iran and Venezuela. On the demand side, most of the world’s growth in fuel consumption is coming from Asia. International Brent crude oil futures were at $71.01 per barrel, up 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.78 per barrel, up 20 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their previous settlement.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 ended little changed on Thursday as growing anxiety over a global economic slowdown offset upbeat data and investors waited for earnings season to kick into high gear. The S&P 500 closed flat at 2,888.32 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.21%, to 7,947.36. Shares of Lyft Inc reversed course, rising 1.5%. Still, the stock is currently trading about 15% below its $72 offer price since its March 29 debut, casting a shadow over rival Uber Technologies’ impending IPO.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Thursday after generally solid data on U.S. jobless claims and producer prices that may have eased worries about a steep downturn for the U.S. economy. U.S. 10-year note yields rose to 2.502%, up from 2.477% late on Wednesday. Yields on U.S. 30-year bonds were also higher, at 2.935% , up from 2.904% on Wednesday. Also on Thursday, the Treasury auctioned $16-billion in 30-year bonds, with a yield of 2.930 percent, higher than the level at the bid deadline. The bid-to-cover ratio was 2.25, a little lower than the 2.3 average.