In Asian Equity Markets the mainland Chinese markets, which were offline for much of last week due to the Lunar New Year holidays, saw gains in early trade. The Shanghai composite rose about 0.2 percent while the Shenzhen composite gained 0.922 percent. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was largely flat as shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent rose 0.17 percent. South Korea’s Kospi fell more than 0.3 percent in morning trade, with shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics declining 0.89 percent. Japan’s stock markets are closed on Monday for a holiday.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar stayed near a six-week high against a basket of currencies as fresh worries over U.S.-Sino trade tensions and global growth pushed investors toward the safety of the greenback. The euro was marginally lower versus the greenback at $1.1322 in Asian trade while the Aussie was 0.1 percent higher at $0.7096, after last week 2.2 percent loss. The New Zealand dollar, which lost 2.2 percent last week, was 0.3 percent higher at $0.6767. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is expected to leave interest rates unchanged this week.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell by around 1 percent on Monday as drilling activity in the United States, the world’s largest oil producer, picked up and financial markets were pulled down by trade concerns. U.S. WTI crude futures were at $52.09 per barrel, down 63 cents, or 1.2 percent, from their last settlement. International Brent crude oil futures were down 49 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $61.61 a barrel. In the United States, energy firms last week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the second time in three weeks, a weekly report by Baker Hughes said on Friday.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq edged upward to snap a two-day losing streak on Friday as positive corporate results offset lingering skepticism over the United States and China reaching a trade deal before the March 1 deadline. Shares of Coty Inc, Mattel Inc and Motorola Solutions Inc jumped after the companies reported better-than-expected quarterly results. The S&P 500 gained 0.07 percent, to 2,707.88 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.14 percent, to 7,298.20. Electronic Arts and Motorola Solutions were among the top boosts to the S&P 500.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell for a fourth straight session on Friday, pressured by global equity market losses on concerns there would be no trade deal between the United States and China by the March 1 deadline. U.S. 30-year yields dropped to one-month lows, while those on two-year and 10-year notes slid to one-week troughs. U.S. 10-year note yields fell to 2.632 percent, from 2.654 percent late on Thursday. U.S. 30-year bond yields were also down, at 2.973 percent , from 3.006 percent on Thursday. Thirty-year yields earlier fell to a one-month low of 2.971 percent.