In Asian Equity Markets indices were flat on Thursday after the United States and China ended some uncertainties for the world economy by signing a partial trade agreement. Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.14%. In South Korea, the Kospi index picked up a gain of 0.23% as shares of tech giant Samsung Electronics advanced 1.53% and Hyundai Motor jumped 3.48%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index added 0.37% but the Chinese mainland markets struggled to climb. The Shanghai composite traded down 0.31%.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar gave a little ground to riskier Asian currencies on Thursday, as investors hoped the Sino-U.S. trade deal could herald warmer relations between the world’s two biggest economies and help to revive global growth. The beaten-up kiwi led gains in major currencies, rising 0.3% to $0.6635, while the Aussie tacked on 0.1% to its highest for the week at $0.6919. The safe-haven Swiss franc’s overnight rally to a 15-month high of 0.9680 per dollar.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Thursday after the signing of an initial Sino-U.S. trade deal that sets the stage for a surge in Chinese purchases of American energy products, while U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected. Brent was 45 cents, or 0.7%, higher at $64.45 a barrel, while U.S. crude was up by 39 cents, or 0.7%, at $58.20 a barrel. Oil inventories fell by 2.5 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations of a drop of 500,000 barrels.
In US Equity Markets the Dow ended above 29,000 for the first time on Wednesday and the S&P 500 also closed at a record high after the United States and China signed a Phase 1 trade agreement and pledged to resolve a tariff dispute that has roiled Wall Street for over a year. UnitedHealth Group Inc, the largest U.S. health insurer, rose 2.8% as it affirmed its full-year outlook for 2020 adjusted earnings. The S&P healthcare index climbed 1.0%.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields declined on Wednesday as investors took stock of an initial U.S.-China trade deal and repositioned around new data showing producer prices barely rose in December. The benchmark 10-year yield was down 2.6 basis points in afternoon trading at 1.7917%. The two-year U.S. Treasury yield, which typically moves in step with interest rate expectations, was down 1.6 basis points at 1.5618% in afternoon trading.