In Asian Equity Markets Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was among the biggest winners among major markets regionally as it jumped 1.25%, with shares of Chinese tech giant Tencent rising 1.7%. Shares of automobile firm Geely rose more than 6% after the company announced it was in talks to strengthen ties with Volvo. South Korea’s Kospi gained about 1.2%, with shares of LG Chem surging more than 5%. The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia traded 0.53% higher as majority of the sectors saw gains.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar and Japanese yen were in demand on Tuesday, along with the bonds of both countries, as worries about the spread of coronavirus had investors heading for safe harbors. The greenback touched a three-month high of $0.6378 per New Zealand dollar, and at $0.6686 per Aussie dollar was not far above the decade peak of $0.6657 hit on Monday. The Australian and New Zealand dollars have fallen more than 4% on the yen this year.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose more than 1% on Tuesday as recent sharp falls have encouraged investors holding short positions to book profits, but the market remains jittery over the Wuhan virus, which has now killed more than 1,000 in China. Brent crude rose 79 cents, or nearly 1.5%, to $54.06 a barrel, while U.S. WTI was up 63 cents, or about 1.3%, to $50.20. The number of coronavirus deaths on the mainland have now reached 1,016, China’s National Health Commission said, and the number of cases have topped 42,600.
In US Equity Markets indices gained ground and the Nasdaq reached a new record on Monday as Chinese workers and factories slowly returned to business following a Lunar New Year holiday that was extended due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak. The S&P 500 gained0.26%, to 3,336.44 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.61%, to 9,578.54. Eli Lilly fell 1.0% after experimental Alzheimer’s treatments from the U.S. pharmaceutical firm and Switzerland’s Roche failed to halt the disease.
In Bond Markets continued demand for safe-haven assets from investors nervous about the economic damage caused by the coronavirus outbreak drove yields lower on Monday, inverting one measure of the yield curve. The spread between yields of three-month and 10-year Treasuries was at minus 1.21 basis points in afternoon trade, having inverted earlier in the day. The spread was below zero for several days last week. Across maturities Treasury yields were lower.