In Asian Equity Markets indices edged higher in Thursday morning trade, as investors closely watch Hong Kong markets after the Hang Seng index rose as high as more than 4% on Wednesday following the withdrawal of a controversial extradition bill. The Nikkei 225 in Japan jumped 1.15% in early trade, while the Topix saw gains of 1.03%. Over in South Korea, the Kospi advanced 0.49%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.3% as majority of the sectors saw gains. Overall, the MSCI Asia ex-Japan index gained 0.25%.
In Currency Markets the safe-haven dollar and yen fell on Wednesday after global political worries eased with what markets perceived as positive news in Hong Kong, Italy and Britain. Sterling hit a one-week high against the dollar as investors grew more optimistic after British lawmakers took steps to block a no-deal Brexit. The yen fell against the dollar, which rose 0.42% to 106.41 yen. It also declined against the euro, which gained 0.99% to 117.43 yen. Meanwhile, sterling jumped 1.37% to $1.2253, and against the euro it rallied 0.85% to 90.03 pence.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Thursday, giving up some of the strong gains of the previous session, after an industry report showed U.S. crude stockpiles rose last week, against analyst expectations of a decline. Brent crude was down 18 cents, or 0.3%, at $60.52 a barrel. On Wednesday, Brent rose 4.2 percent. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was down 23 cents, or 0.4%, at $56.03 a barrel, having risen 4.3% the previous session, the biggest percentage gain in nearly two months. Crude inventories rose by 401,000 barrels in the week ended Aug. 30 to 429.1 million, compared with analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 2.5 million barrels.
In US Equity Markets indexes rebounded on Wednesday, after robust economic data from China, easing tensions in Hong Kong and British lawmakers’ approval of a law to delay Brexit provided relief to investors worried about global growth. The S&P 500 gained 1.08%, to 2,937.78, and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.3%, to 7,976.88. Technology stocks provided the biggest boost of the S&P’s 11 major sectors with a 1.7% gain. Healthcare was the weakest sector with a 0.01% gain for the day. Tyson Foods Inc shares fell 7.8% after the biggest U.S. meat processor cut its 2019 earnings forecast.
In Bond Markets two-year Treasury yields hit their lowest since September 2017, steepening the yield curve on Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book report and GDPNow tool reflected expectations that growth would slow in the third quarter. The two-year yield, which moves with expectations of interest rate cuts, fell as low as 1.430% and was last down 2.6 basis points to 1.436%. The spread between two- and 10-year Treasury yields , the most commonly used measure of the yield curve, rose to its highest since Aug. 21 at 3.3 basis points.