In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei index edged lower on Monday, as investors assessed the impact of a weaker dollar following a central bank conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, as well as the damage from Tropical Storm Harvey. The Nikkei was down 0.1 percent at 19,430.65 at the end of morning trading. The broader Topix fell 0.1 percent to 1,596.09, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was also down 0.1 percent at 14,143.09. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan rose less than 0.1 percent. Chinese blue chips rose 1.6 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.4 percent. Australian shares slid 0.7 percent, and South Korea’s KOSPI was down 0.5 percent.
In Currency Markets the euro extended gains to a 2-1/2-year high against the dollar on Monday after the European Central Bank president held back from talking down the currency and as markets worried about the impact of Tropical Storm Harvey on the U.S. economy. The euro was a shade higher at $1.1924 after rising to $1.1966, its highest since January 2015. The greenback was down 0.2 percent at 109.175 yen. The pound was down 0.1 percent at $1.2884 after briefly touching a 13-day peak of $1.2946. The Australian dollar was 0.1 percent higher at $0.7939 and the New Zealand dollar rose 0.05 percent to $0.7240. The Swiss franc stood near a one-month high of 0.9539 franc per dollar touched earlier in the session.
In Commodities Markets oil markets were roiled on Monday after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc along the U.S. Gulf coast over the weekend, knocking out numerous refineries and some crude production. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures were at $47.70 a barrel, down 0.4 percent, from their last settlement. Brent crude was stronger at $52.58 per barrel, up 0.3 percent as Libyan pipeline blockades prevented three oilfields from supplying crude. Spot prices for U.S. gasoline futures rose 7 percent to a peak of $1.7799 per gallon, the highest level since late July 2015. Spot gold rose 0.2 percent to $1,293.96 an ounce and silver edged up 0.3 percent to $17.10 an ounce.
In US Equity Markets stocks rose slightly on Friday, lifted by high-dividend-paying stocks, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen stayed silent on monetary policy in a much-anticipated speech. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.14 percent, to end at 21,813.67, the S&P 500 gained 0.17 percent, to 2,443.05 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.09 percent, to 6,265.64. Broadcom’s shares were down 3.7 percent after its quarterly earnings report weighed the most on the S&P 500 technology index as well as the Nasdaq and S&P. Energy shares, up 0.52 percent, also advanced on a climb in oil prices as major Hurricane Harvey drew closer to the Texas Gulf Coast. Shares of Autodesk were up 3.9 percent after the software maker raised its forecast.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell slightly on Friday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen did not mention monetary policy in a highly anticipated speech, relieving some investors who thought she might make hawkish comments on the economy. At a conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Yellen said that reforms put in place after the 2007-2009 financial crisis have strengthened the financial system without impeding economic growth, and any future changes should remain modest. Benchmark 10-year notes gained 5/32 in price to yield 2.176 percent, down from 2.194 percent on Thursday.