In Asian Equity Markets were mixed Wednesday as countries in the region continued to put measures in place to battle the coronavirus pandemic. Mainland Chinese stocks dipped by the afternoon, with the Shanghai composite down 0.32%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also shed 0.99%. In Japan, stocks saw a turnaround after an earlier slip, with the Nikkei 225 rising 0.96% as shares of index heavyweight Fast Retailing jumped 6.29%. Meanwhile, stocks in Australia recovered from earlier losses, with the S&P/ASX 200 edging 0.3% higher.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar found a footing on Wednesday as investors returned to safe-havens, unwinding some risk currency gains made on hopes the coronavirus crisis in Europe and New York was slowing. The greenback rose on most majors besides the safe-haven Japanese yen. The U.S. currency rose most against the risk-sensitive Australian and New Zealand dollars, gaining about 0.5% on each to sit at $0.6142 per Aussie The Aussie was also knocked by ratings agency S&P downgrading the outlook on the sovereign AAA rating from stable to negative.
In Commodities Markets oil bounced back on Wednesday, with U.S. crude jumping over $1, lifted by hopes that a meeting between OPEC members and allied producers on Thursday will trigger output cuts to shore up prices that have crumbled amid the coronavirus pandemic. Brent crude was up by 75 cents, or 2.4%, at $32.62 per barrel after falling 3.6% on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $1.30, or 5.5%, to $24.93 a barrel after falling 9.4% in the previous session.
In US Equity Markets indices rose on Tuesday on tentative early signs that coronavirus outbreaks in some of the biggest U.S. hot spots may be plateauing, with New York’s governor saying social distancing measures to curb the spread of the virus were working. The S&P 500 gained 0.81%, to 2,685.15 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.31%, to 7,937.44. Exxon shares climbed 2.84% and Halliburton rose 1.64%, helping the energy sector move higher even as crude prices fell.
In Bond Markets yields on longer-term U.S. Treasuries erased some early gains on Tuesday after a Wall Street rally sparked by hopes the coronavirus outbreak may be slowing fizzled out. The yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-year note was last up 5.8 basis points at 0.7359%, down from a session high of 0.785%. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday that while his hard-hit state had its largest single-day increase in deaths, he believed the number of hospitalizations for the virus was reaching a plateau.