In Asian Equity Markets indices jumped on Tuesday, after falling a day earlier amid rising geopolitical concerns in the Middle East. Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 1.66%, after falling 1.91% by Monday’s close. The Topix index rose 1.36%. Most sectors gained, with tech stocks trading up. Nintendo pared some earlier gains to rise 0.84%, while Softbank was up 1.25%, and Sony surged nearly 3%. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.88%, led by the tech and cosmetics sectors. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index jumped 0.65%.
In Currency Markets the Swiss franc held gains against the dollar on Tuesday as traders sought save-havens amid heightened anxiety about potential Iranian retaliation to a U.S. drone strike that killed its most prominent military commander. The yen, another safe-haven currency, pulled back from a three-month high versus the dollar, but sentiment remains fragile due to the increasing worries about armed conflict between the United States and Iran. Against the dollar, the Swiss franc was quoted at 0.9689 following a 0.5% jump on Monday.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell more than 1% on Tuesday as investors reconsidered the likelihood of Middle East supply disruptions in the wake of the United States killing a top Iranian military commander. Brent crude fell as much as 1.5% to $67.86 a barrel and was at $68.09, down 82 cents. U.S. WTI crude futures was at $62.53, down 74 cents, after earlier falling 1.5% to an intra-day low of $62.30. Prices jumped during the previous two sessions, with Brent reaching its highest since September while WTI rose to the most since April.
In US Equity Markets gains for internet giants Amazon and Alphabet helped Wall Street’s S&P 500 index steady following early losses on Monday sparked by rising tensions in the Middle East. After opening about half a percent lower, the benchmark index was trading nearly flat by afternoon trading. Alphabet rose 2.2% after Pivotal Research upgraded the stock to “buy”, while Salesforce.com Inc gained 3.1% after RBC named the business software provider as its “top pick”.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury bonds sold off on Monday, lifting yields as the price of oil remained elevated on heightened tensions between the United States and Iran. On Monday afternoon, yields across maturities were higher, with the 10-year last up 1.8 basis points to trade at 1.809%. Some analysts suggested the reversal could be explained by the sustained rally in oil prices. The two-year yield, which reflects market expectations of Federal Reserve interest rate policy, was up 1.8 basis points to 1.543%.