In Asian Equity Markets indices mostly rose by Monday morning as investors await the signing of a phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China. In South Korea, the Kospi rose 0.72%, with cosmetics stocks notching significant gains. Japan’s markets are closed for a holiday on Monday. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index, rose 0.82%. Gaming company Razer rose almost 10%. It announced earlier this month that it had submitted an application for a digital banking license in Singapore.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar began the week supported by optimism on the Sino-U.S. trade front, while the pound wobbled lower after weekend hints at an interest rate cut from a Bank of England policymaker. A U.S.-China trade deal is due to be signed at the White House on Wednesday, though talks on a phase two package are likely to drag on for months. The Australian dollar held firm at $0.6898 while the New Zealand dollar was steady at $0.6636 and the euro marginally weaker at $1.1114.
In Commodities Markets oil prices edged down on Monday as fears of conflict between the United States and Iran eased, although the decline was checked by the planned signing of an initial U.S.-China trade deal this week, which could boost demand. Brent crude was down 13 cents, or 0.2%, at $64.85 per barrel. WTI was also down 9 cents, or 0.2%, at $58.95 a barrel. Global benchmark Brent touched a near four-month high above $70 before ending last week below $65, although the situation in the Middle East remains tense.
In US Equity Markets stocks hovered near all-time highs on Friday, as easing Middle East tensions and gains in popular technology stocks offset concerns about slower-than-expected December jobs growth in the United States. Boeing Co fell 1.3% after the company released hundreds of internal messages that contained harshly critical comments on 737 MAX development. Apple Inc rose 0.3% after Credit Suisse raised its price target on the stock, citing a better-than-feared iPhone 11 cycle so far.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields were lower on Friday after the Labor Department’s nonfarm payrolls report showed job growth slowed more than expected in December and wages stagnated, limiting inflation risk. Yields first fell, then recouped, then fell again to end the day lower. The benchamark 10-year yield was down 3.3 basis points to 1.825%. The two-year yield was half a basis point lower at 1.570%, reflecting market expectations that Friday’s report will not change the Federal Reserve’s plan to keep interest rates steady for the near future.