In Asian Equity Markets indices traded mixed on Monday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 see-sawed between gains and losses to trade up 0.16 percent mid-morning while the Topix index added 0.35 percent. Nissan shares traded up 1.01 percent as former boss Carlos Ghosn is reportedly seeking permission from the Tokyo District Court to attend the automaker’s board meeting on Tuesday. In South Korea, the Kospi reversed early advances to trade down 0.29 percent. The ASX 200 in Australia fell 0.27 percent in afternoon trade as most sectors declined.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar edged up early on Monday, hovering close to a near three-month high as investors took cover in the currency amid global growth concerns, while sterling extended its decline on an uncertain outlook over Britain’s exit from the European Union. The index was just shy of its recent peak of 97.710 hit last Thursday, its highest since Dec. 14 last year. On Monday, the British pound gave up 0.4 percent to $1.2968 after briefly dipping to a near three-week low on nervousness over Brexit. The currency had already fallen for seven straight sessions.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Monday, lifted by comments from Saudi oil minister Khalid al-Falih that an end to OPEC-led supply cuts was unlikely before June and a report showing a fall U.S. drilling activity. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $56.39 per barrel, up 32 cents, or 0.6 percent from their last close. Brent crude futures were at $65.04 per barrel, up 30 cents, or 0.5 percent. Prices were also supported after the number of rigs drilling for new oil production in the United States fell by nine to 834 last week.
In US Equity Markets stocks were on pace for their fifth day of losses on Friday, after weak U.S. jobs data in February added to concerns over cooling global growth that was sparked by a sharp fall in China’s exports and a prolonged slowdown in the eurozone. The S&P 500 lost 0.21 percent, to 2,743.07 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.18 percent, to 7,408.14. Costco Wholesale Corp jumped 4.56 percent, the most on the S&P, after the warehouse club operator’s quarterly profit trumped estimates as margin pressures eased.
In Bond Markets Treasury yields fell on Friday after U.S. job growth fell unexpectedly in February, with the economy creating only 20,000 jobs, a 93 percent decline from the prior month, amid a contraction of payrolls in construction, among other sectors. The 10-year Treasury yield, a proxy for investor sentiment about the overall health of the economy, was 1.1 basis points lower at 2.625 percent. The two-year yield, which reflects traders’ expectations for rate hikes, was 1 basis point lower, last at 2.459.