In Asian Equity Markets indices were mixed in early trade as investors monitored for new developments from the ongoing U.S.-China trade negotiations. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.45% in early trade and the Topix index fell 0.78%. South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.37% as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix declined more than 1%. The ASX 200 in Australia, meanwhile, bucked the downward trend to rise around 0.1% as the sectors traded mixed. Chinese trade data for April showed both exports and trade surplus missed expectations while imports surprisingly rose.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar hovered near a six-week low versus the yen early on Thursday, weighed down against its safe-haven Japanese peer as risk aversion gripped broader markets amid concerns that the U.S.-China trade conflict could escalate. The U.S. currency stood at 109.905 yen after going as low as 109.70 overnight, its weakest since March 25. The Australian dollar traded at 76.89 yen, not too far from a four-month low of 76.79 reached on Monday. The Aussie has shed roughly 1.5 percent against the yen this week.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Thursday amid concerns over the escalating trade battle between the United States and China, despite a surprise fall in U.S. crude stockpiles. Brent crude oil futures were at $69.92 a barrel, down 44 cents, or 0.63 percent, from their previous settlement. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.67 per barrel, down 45 cents, or 0.72 percent, from their last close. The Sino-U.S. trade war has weighed on oil prices this week as heightened tensions between the world’s two biggest economies could the global economic outlook.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 fell slightly on Wednesday for the third day in a row as investors remained cautious about the latest developments on U.S.-China trade talks even after hopeful comments from the White House regarding an eventual agreement. A late slide in shares of Intel Corp contributed to losses in the last half-hour of trading. Shares of the chipmaker fell 2.5% after the company’s outlook during its investor day presentation disappointed. The S&P 500 lost 0.16%, to 2,879.42 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.26%, to 7,943.32.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Wednesday, reversing an earlier drop due to trade worries, as traders sold their bond holdings in the wake of a poor 10-year note auction and competing supply from the corporate bond market. Earlier Wednesday, longer-dated yields fell to a five-week lows as investors had piled money into low-risk government debt amid an escalating trade battle between economic giants China and the United States. The yields on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes were up 3.6 basis points at 2.48%.