In Asian Equity Markets indices were down in Thursday morning trade, as the U.S. takes aim at China’s Huawei again, heating up trade tensions further. Mainland Chinese shares declined in early trade, with the Shanghai composite falling around 0.3% and the Shenzhen composite shedding 0.20%. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index slipped 0.65%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan fell 1.04% in morning trade, while the Topix declined 0.99%. Over in South Korea, the Kospi fell 0.86%. Australia’s ASX 200 was largely flat.
In Currency Markets the euro was buoyant on Thursday as trade concerns eased on expectations that U.S. President Donald Trump will delay implementing tariffs on imported cars. The euro was 0.05% higher at $1.1207, having bounced overnight from a one-week low of $1.1178. The single currency was initially hit as Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini criticized European Union rules for the second day. The Australian dollar nudged down 0.1% to $0.6922, staying within touching distance of a 4-1/2-month low of $0.6915 touched the previous day.
In Commodities Markets oil prices edged up on Thursday to extend gains into a third straight session, as tensions in the Middle East stoked fears of potential disruptions to supply. Brent crude futures were at $72.04 a barrel, up 27 cents, or 0.4%, from their last close. Brent closed up 0.7% on Wednesday. U.S. WTI crude futures were at $62.27 per barrel, up 25 cents, or 0.4%, from their previous settlement. WTI closed up 0.4% in the previous session. U.S. crude inventories rose unexpectedly last week to their highest since September 2017.
In US Equity Markets stocks closed higher on Wednesday as reports that U.S. President Donald Trump would hold off on imposing tariffs on imported cars and parts eased growth concerns even as economic data disappointed investors. The S&P 500 gained 0.58%, to 2,850.96 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.13%, to 7,822.15. Agilent Technologies Inc was the worst performer of the S&P 500, falling 11.0% after the medical equipment maker reported quarterly profit that fell short of consensus estimates.
In Bond Markets Treasury yields fell on Wednesday, with the two-year yield hitting its lowest in 15 months after the United States reported that retail sales and industrial output declined in April, raising expectations the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates this year. The two-year yield, which is a proxy for market predictions of Fed policy, fell as low as 2.139%, breaking through late-March levels to its lowest since February 2018. It was last down 3.3 basis points at 2.170%. The benchmark 10-year yield was last down 4 basis points at 2.379%.