In Asian Equity Markets South Korean stocks, which saw heavy losses on Thursday, jumped Friday morning as the Kospi advanced 4.29% while the Kosdaq index jumped 5.77%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also jumped 2.81%. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 2.16% as almost all the sectors advanced, with the heavily weighted financial subindex up more than 4%. The Shanghai composite 0.47% higher. In Southeast Asia, the Straits Times Index in Singapore gained 1%. Markets in Japan are closed on Friday for a holiday.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar was headed for its biggest weekly gain since the 2008 global financial crisis on Friday, even as its rally lost some steam, with the coronavirus pandemic driving a dash for cash that is straining the world’s financial plumbing. The dollar is up 3.7% on a basket of currencies through a week when investors have liquidated everything from stocks to bonds, gold and commodities for the safety of cash. The Australian dollar led Friday’s partial recovery among beaten-down majors with a 1.7% gain to $0.5839.
In Commodities Markets U.S. crude oil prices rose over $1 on Friday, extending steep gains from the previous session, after U.S. President Donald Trump hinted he may intervene in the price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia at an “appropriate time”. Prices were also supported by United States’ plans to buy oil for its emergency stockpile, while regulators in the country’s largest oil-producing state Texas were reportedly considering curtailing production. U.S. crude futures for April rose 92 cents, or 3.7% to $26.14 a barrel.
In US Equity Markets stocks managed to post gains on Thursday after recent steep losses as policymakers around the world took further emergency actions to try to help financial markets cope with deep coronavirus-driven economic damage. Nasdaq outperformed ending 2.3% higher, fueled by gains in Amazon.com, Microsoft and Facebook. Ford Motor Co was the latest major U.S. corporation to bolster its cash reserves to ride out the virus impact, drawing down more than $15 billion from existing credit lines. Ford shares ended down 0.7%.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields largely fell in volatile trading on Thursday as investors hurried to minimize risk in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, and the Fed poured liquidity into the financial system. The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note was at 1.1256%, down 13.2 basis points for the session. The yield on the 3-month U.S. Treasury bill was up 2.8 basis points to 0.0483%, though still a very low level for an instrument whose yield has not been in negative territory since October 2015