In Asian Equity Markets indices were mostly higher in Thursday trade ahead of the release of the U.S. unemployment claims report. Shares in Australia led gains among the region’s major markets, with the S&P/ASX 200 jumping 2.06% as shares of major banks such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac rose. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index advanced 0.7%. Over in South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.97% as shares of automaker Hyundai Motor soared more than 6% while the Kosdaq index gained 1%.
In Currency Markets commodity currencies drew support on Thursday from hopeful signs the coronavirus pandemic may be peaking and that major oil producers may agree to cut output to stem a plunge in oil prices. The Australian dollar fetched $0.6225, down slightly but still near its highest level since mid-March, maintaining most of its gains since rallying from a 17-year trough of $0.5510 touched three weeks ago. The Canadian dollar traded at C$1.4025 per U.S. dollar, not far off this week’s peak at C$1.3945.
In Commodities Markets crude futures rose on Thursday on expectations the world’s largest oil producers would agree to cut production at a meeting later in the day as the industry grapples with the coronavirus-driven collapse in global oil demand. Brent crude futures rose 2.5%, or 81 cents, to $33.65 as of 0034 GMT after touching a high of $33.90, adding to gains in the previous session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 4.3%, or $1.08, at $26.17, having climbed as much as 6%.
In US Equity Markets indices jumped on Wednesday as investors were encouraged by hopeful signs about the coronavirus outbreak in the United States, with health insurers getting an additional boost from the announcement that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders was suspending his campaign. The S&P 500 gained 3.41%, to 2,749.98. UnitedHealth Group Inc, Anthem and Cigna jumped between 5.5% and 8%, as the healthcare index provided one of the biggest boosts among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields were mixed on Wednesday following an auction of 30-year bonds that was better received than note auctions earlier this week and the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s March meeting The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year note was up 4 basis points at 0.7738%. The two-year U.S. Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was at 0.2619%, down 2 basis points.