In Asian Equity Markets indices were mostly higher in Wednesday as concerns over the ongoing coronavirus outbreak abated. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.51% as shares of index heavyweight and conglomerate Softbank Group jumped 12.28% after a judge stateside approved a merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. Softbank is a majority shareholder of Sprint. Meanwhile, South Korea’s Kospi traded 0.22% higher. Stocks in Australia held on to gains, with the S&P/ASX 200 gaining 0.5% as shares of Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 3.97%.
In Currency Markets trade-exposed Asian currencies edged ahead on Wednesday, buoyed by optimism that the spread of coronavirus had slowed, while the kiwi leapt after the central bank dropped its easing bias. The Australian dollar, sensitive to China’s fortunes because of Australia’s commodity-driven export profile, firmed 0.3% to $0.6728. The New Zealand dollar jumped 0.8% to $0.6462, its sharpest rise in two months, after the central bank removed the chance of a rate cut from its forward projections.
In Commodities Markets oil prices climbed on Wednesday as China reported its lowest daily number of new coronavirus cases since late January, stoking investor hopes that fuel demand in the world’s second-largest oil consumer may begin to recover from the epidemic. Brent crude was up 98 cents, or 1.8%, at $54.99 per barrel. U.S. WTI rose 81 cents, or 1.4%, to $50.65 a barrel. U.S. crude inventories rose by 6 million barrels in the week to Feb. 7 to 438.9 million barrels, beating analysts’ expectations for an increase of 3 million barrels.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes scaled new highs on Tuesday as investors took heart from remarks by a top Chinese health adviser that the coronavirus outbreak may be peaking. The S&P 500 gained 0.38% to 3,364.85. The Nasdaq Composite was up 0.48% at 9,674.32. T-Mobile shares jumped 10.5% to the top of the benchmark S&P 500, after a federal judge approved its purchase of Sprint, clearing the path for a deal which was originally valued at $26 billion.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell said the U.S. economy is resilient and maintained that current interest rate policy remains appropriate. The 10-year yield was last up 3.8 basis points at 1.585%, on track to record its first positive day since Feb. 5. The two-year yield was up 3.6 basis points at 1.413% and the 30-year bond yield was up 3.1 basis points at 2.052%.