In Asian Equity Markets were mixed on Thursday morning. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.14%. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.14%. Shares of conglomerate Softbank Group declined after Wednesday’s blockbuster jump, falling more than 2.5% in afternoon trade, with the moves on Thursday coming after the firm posted a near wipe out of its quarterly profit. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi added 0.31% as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix surged more than 2%. Stocks in Australia were also higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.14%.
In Currency Markets the yen rose from a three-week low against the dollar on Thursday as investors sought safe havens after China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of a coronavirus outbreak, reported a sharp jump in the number of new cases. The yen rose 0.2% on Thursday to 109.89 yen, pulling back from its weakest since Jan. 21. The Australian dollar, widely used as a proxy for risk on Chinese assets, fell 0.22% to $0.6724, while the New Zealand dollar dipped 0.2% to $0.6453.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose for a third day on expectations that major producers are likely to enact deeper output cuts to offset the slump in demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak in China, the world’s second-largest crude consumer. Brent crude rose 17 cents, or 0.3%, to $55.96 per barrel. U.S. WTI rose 29 cents, or 0.6%, to $51.46 a barrel. Adding to the sense of a well-supplied market, U.S. crude inventories in the week to Feb. 7 increased by a more-than-expected 7.5 million barrels to 442.5 million barrels
In US Equity Markets all three major U.S. stock indexes notched record closing highs on Wednesday as news the coronavirus could be running out of steam lifted investor optimism. The S&P 500 gained 0.64%, to 3,379.36 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.9%, to 9,725.96. Molson Coors Beverage jumped 4.8% after the beer maker beat quarterly profit and sales estimates. Lyft Inc slid 8.5% as the ride-hailing company forecast slower revenue growth for the year.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Wednesday amid renewed risk tolerance after a reported drop in the number of new coronavirus cases in China alleviated some concerns about economic growth. The benchmark 10-year yield was up 4.8 basis points in afternoon trading at 1.6385%. The two-year U.S. Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was up 2.9 basis points at 1.4458 % in afternoon trading.