In Asian Equity Markets stocks in Asia were mostly lower in Thursday morning. Mainland Chinese stocks fell in early trade, with the Shanghai composite declining 0.51%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also fell 0.21%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan, on the other hand, rose 0.25% in morning trade, while the Topix index was 0.15 higher. Over in South Korea, the Kospi declined 0.33%. Shares of chipmaker SK Hynix jumped more than 2.5% after the company said it expects demand for memory chips to recover later in 2019.
In Currency Markets the euro nursed losses against the dollar on Thursday after dipping to a 22-month low on a surprise drop in a leading indicator for economic activity in Germany, amplifying worries of a growth slowdown in Europe’s largest economy. The euro sat at $1.1153, having suffered its biggest one-day loss against the dollar since early March when the European Central Bank pushed back plans for its first post-crisis interest rate hike. The single currency also shed nearly 0.4 percent against the yen overnight and was last trading at 125.125 yen.
In Commodities Markets oil prices hovered near six-month highs on Wednesday after data showed U.S. crude stockpiles surged to their highest levels since October 2017, countering fears of tight supply resulting from OPEC output cuts and U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and Iran. Brent crude futures rose 6 cents to settle at $74.57 a barrel. The international benchmark reached $74.73 a barrel on Tuesday and Wednesday, highest since Nov. 1. U.S. WTI crude futures were under more pressure from the build in domestic stocks, and ended 41 cents lower at $65.89 a barrel.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 fell on Wednesday after ending the previous session with a record and the Nasdaq failed to hold all-time highs reached earlier in the day while investors waited for more earnings reports. Energy stocks were the biggest drag on the S&P 500 as oil prices fell. The S&P 500 lost 0.22%, to 2,927.25 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.23%, to 8,102.02. Caterpillar Inc fell 3% as rising costs hit margins in its construction equipment business and the company reported tepid sales in the Asia-Pacific region.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields were lower across maturities on Wednesday as investors piled into the safe-haven government bonds following a dovish report from Canada’s central bank, weak data from Germany and Australia, and solid demand at auction for $41 billion of new five-year notes. Yields across maturities declined between 4 and 5 basis points. The largest change was in the seven-year yield , last down 4.9 basis points, going into the auction of $32 billion of fresh supply on Thursday.