In Asian Equity Markets indices rose Monday morning as investors reacted to a series of recent data releases in major economies including the United States and China. Mainland Chinese stocks rose in early trade, with the Shanghai composite adding 0.59%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also advanced 0.31%. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.62%. Shares of Japanese automaker Nissan fell 0.2% following reports that company Chief Executive Hiroto Saikawa has expressed his desire to resign, following an admission last week to being improperly compensated.
In Currency Markets the euro was on the back foot on Monday ahead of a European Central Bank meeting later this week at which policymakers are expected to deliver new stimulus to bolster a flagging regional economy. Heightened expectations for an ECB easing come as other global central banks move to loosen the monetary spigot with the People’s Bank of China on Friday taking steps to boost lending. The euro was little changed at $1.10235 early in Asian trading after falling 0.1% on Friday.
In Commodities Markets oil rose on Monday after a Saudi official said there would be no change in Saudi Arabia’s OPEC policy as Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman was made the new energy minister for the world’s biggest crude exporter over the weekend. Prices were heading for a fourth day of gains and were also supported by comments from United Arab Emirates energy minister saying OPEC and its allies are committed to balancing the crude market. Global benchmark Brent was up 7 cents at $61.61 a barrel, while U.S. WTI was 20 cents, or 0.3%, higher at $56.72 a barrel.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 and Dow industrials closed slightly higher on Friday as investors digested a mixed U.S. jobs report and bet on a Federal Reserve interest rate cut this month, while China’s stimulus plan helped ease some concerns around global growth. Of the S&P 500’s 11 major sectors, eight ended the day with gains. Healthcare was the biggest boost with a 0.3% increase, while the technology sector was the biggest drag with a 0.2% drop. For the week, the S&P 500 rose 1.8%, while the Nasdaq gained 1.8%.
In Bond Markets a mixed employment report on Friday morning and an even-keel message from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell left yields modestly lower, firming up market expectations the central bank will cut interest rates by the expected 25 basis points at its September meeting. Treasury yields were modestly lower than where they had been going into the panel discussion, with the two-year yield down 1.6 basis points to 1.524% and the 10-year yield down 1.7 basis points to 1.548%.