In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei 225 advanced 1.04 percent in morning trade while the Topix gained more than 1.1 percent, with most sectors trading up. South Korea’s Kospi also gained 1.37 percent as shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics advanced 1.84 percent and steelmaker Posco rose more than 3 percent. Australia’s benchmark ASX 200 rose about 0.9 percent, with all sectors advancing. The energy sub-index added around 2 percent on the back of Tuesday’s strong gain in oil prices.

 

In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar eased against some of its peers on Wednesday, as hopes of progress in the Sino-U.S. trade dispute boosted commodity-linked and riskier currencies. Increased risk appetite helped lift the Australian dollar after U.S. government officials said that trade talks between China and the United States will continue for an unscheduled third day on Wednesday. The Aussie rose 0.2 percent to $0.7152, after touching a three-week high of $0.7172. Against the yen, the dollar was basically unchanged at 108.73 yen per dollar.

 

In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session on hopes that Washington and Beijing can resolve a trade dispute that has triggered a global economic slowdown. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were at $50.29 per barrel, up 51 cents, or 1 percent from their last settlement. It was the first time this year that WTI has topped $50 a barrel. International Brent crude futures were up 42 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $59.14 per barrel. Both crude price benchmarks gained more than 2 percent in the previous session.

 

In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 jumped to a three-week high on Tuesday, led by Apple, Amazon, Facebook and industrial shares on bets that the United States and China would strike a deal to end their trade war. Apple Inc rose 1.91 percent, regaining some ground after the company last week. The S&P 500 gained 0.97 percent to 2,574.41. The Nasdaq Composite added 1.08 percent to 6,897.00. The Philadelphia Semiconductor index slid 0.49 percent after Goldman Sachs foretasted a tough year for chip-makers, particularly in the first half.

 

In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose for a third day on Tuesday, in line with higher U.S. stocks, as optimism over a trade deal between the United States and China boosted risk appetite. Benchmark 10-year notes fell 9/32 in price on Tuesday to yield 2.712 percent, up from 2.682 percent on Monday. Treasury Department sold $38 billion in three-year notes to relatively soft demand, the first sale of $78 billion in coupon-bearing supply this week. The ratio of bids to notes offered was 2.44, the lowest reading since April 2009.

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