In Asian Equity Markets indices traded cautiously on Thursday morning as European Union leaders and the U.K. agreed to a “flexible extension ” of the Brexit deadline till Oct. 31. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.24 percent. Chinese tech giant Tencent’s stock jumped more than 2 percent, earlier crossing the 400 Hong Kong dollar per share mark for the first time since June 2018. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.15 percent in morning trade as shares of robot maker and index heavyweight Fanuc declined more than 0.2 percent.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar held near two-week lows on Thursday as Federal Reserve minutes reinforced dovish policy expectations while the pound held recent ranges after European leaders extended the deadline for Britain to leave the union, averting a no-deal Brexit. The U.S. dollar lacked momentum, with its index against six other currencies hovering near a two-week low, after the minutes from the Fed’s last meeting enhancing expectations of a dovish policy stance. The dollar slipped to 110.95 yen, having fallen 0.68 percent so far this week.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Thursday after U.S. crude stockpiles surged to their highest levels in almost 17 months amid record production. International benchmark Brent futures were at $71.57 per barrel, down 16 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $64.36 per barrel, down 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their previous settlement. U.S. crude inventories rose 7 million barrels to 456.6 million barrels in the last week, their highest since November 2017, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq inched higher on Wednesday, as investors largely shrugged off benign U.S. inflation data and unsurprising minutes from the Federal Reserve’s March meeting. The S&P 500 gained 0.20%, to 2,883.82 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.42%, to 7,942.14. Tesla Inc got a boost after U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation that would expand the electric vehicle tax credit. The company’s stock rose 1.3%. Houseware retailer Bed Bath & Beyond was up 4.4% ahead of its quarterly results expected after the bell.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell on Wednesday, as tame underlying U.S. inflation data reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve would hold interest rates steady or cut them once by the end of the year. Lower U.S. yields were also in line with falls in the European bond market after the European Central Bank affirmed its easing bias in the midst of downside risks to the eurozone economy. U.S. 10-year note yields fell to 2.472%, down from 2.499% late on Tuesday.