In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei 225 gave up early gains to trade near flat while the Topix index gained 0.25 percent. Australian banking stocks gained Tuesday after a special government-appointed inquiry into the country’s financial sector did not recommend breaking up any of the banks or interfering in the way they lend money. Shares of ANZ rose 6.58 percent, National Australia Bank added 4.04 percent, Westpac shares added 7.26 percent and Commonwealth Bank gained 4.52 percent.The broader benchmark ASX 200 gained 2.19 percent.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar held on to recent gains against its peers on Tuesday, supported by a recovery in investor risk appetite, which gave an overnight boost to U.S. yields, while the Australian dollar fell on dismal retail sales data. The Australian dollar shed 0.3 percent to $0.7209 as local retail sales for December came in weaker than expected, capping a lousy quarter of disappointing data in yet another blow for the economic outlook. The euro was flat at $1.1438, off three-week high of $1.15145 set on Thursday.
In Commodities Markets U.S. oil prices inched up on Tuesday, buoyed by expectations of tightening global supply due to U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and production cuts led by OPEC. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $54.77 per barrel, up 21 cents or 0.4 percent. They closed down 1.3 percent on Monday, after earlier touching their highest since Nov. 21 at $55.75 a barrel. International Brent crude oil futures were at $62.72 a barrel, also up 21 cents or 0.4 percent, after closing down 0.4 percent in the previous session.
In US Equity Markets indices gained on Monday, with all three major indexes closing near session highs as sustained optimism on the prospects for U.S.-China trade relations propelled technology shares. Shares of Apple Inc and Microsoft Corp each rose 2.7 percent and were the top boosts to the benchmark S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq. Apple and Microsoft’s gains helped S&P 500 technology stocks gain 1.6 percent, the greatest rise among the benchmark index’s major sectors. The S&P 500 gained 0.68 percent, to 2,724.87 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.15 percent, to 7,347.54.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury prices fell on Monday in generally thin volume, after trading higher for most of last week, pressured by upcoming debt supply, as well as indications that inflation expectations are rising. The U.S. Treasury will auction $38 billion in 3-year notes on Tuesday, $27 billion in 10-year notes on Wednesday, and $19 billion in 30-year bonds on Thursday. At the close U.S. 10-year note yields rose to 2.718 percent, up from 2.691 percent late on Friday. U.S. 30-year bond yields, were also up at 3.05 percent , from 3.032 percent on Friday.