In Asian Equity Markets indices were mostly higher Monday, after stronger-than-expected China data on Friday improved investor confidence. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.43 percent. South Korea’s Kospi gained 0.72 percent. Shares of Asiana Airlines and its affiliates soared in the morning session. Asiana Airlines shares were up 30 percent. Affiliates Air Busan and Asiana IDT rose 29.80 percent and 29.78 percent. In China, the Shanghai composite was up 1.8 percent while the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 1 percent.
In Currency Markets the yen hovered near its lowest level this year on Monday as more signs of stabilisation in the Chinese economy and an upbeat start to the U.S. earnings season prompted investors to abandon the safe-haven currency to seek higher returns elsewhere. The dollar firmed to 112.02 yen, near Friday’s high of 112.10, which was near its year-to-date high of 112.135 touched in early March. The safe-haven Swiss franc has also eased against the euro, which strengthened to 1.1329 franc, recovering its losses made late last month to hit a three-week high on the franc.
In Commodities Markets oil prices edged lower on Monday after international benchmark Brent hit a fresh five-month high in the previous session, but concerns over global supplies kept prices well supported. Brent crude oil futures were at $71.46 a barrel, down 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their last close, having hit their highest since Nov. 12 on Friday at $71.87. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.63 per barrel, down 26 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 crossed the 2,900 mark for the first time since early October on Friday, boosted by a jump in Walt Disney shares and as bank stocks surged after strong results from JPMorgan. Shares of the largest U.S. bank by assets rose 4.1% after the company beat quarterly profit estimates, easing fears that slowing economic growth could weigh on its results. The S&P financial index rose 2.3%, providing the biggest boost to the main index, while the S&P banks index gained 2.9%. the S&P 500 gained 0.66%, to 2,907.41 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.46%, to 7,984.16.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose to three-week highs on Friday as investors put money into riskier assets after data showed Chinese exports rebounded in March, easing concerns about global economic growth. U.S. 10-year note yields were 2.55% , up from 2.50% late on Thursday. Over the last two weeks, 10-year yields have risen more than 13 basis points. Yields on U.S. 30-year bonds were 2.968%, up from 2.937% on Thursday. On the short end, U.S. 2-year yields edged up to 2.385% from Thursday’s 2.356%.