In Asian Equity Markets indices were mostly higher in Wednesday morning. Mainland Chinese stocks were subdued in early trade, with the Shanghai composite fractionally lower. Meanwhile, the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong added 0.42%. South Korea’s Kospi advanced 0.4% as shares of chipmaker SK Hynix jumped more than 4%. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.69% as most sectors traded higher. In Japan, however, the Nikkei 225 slipped fractionally and the Topix fell 0.44% in morning trade.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar edged toward a three-week high against a basket of major currencies on Wednesday, as an unwinding of bets on deep U.S. interest rate cuts pushed Treasury yields higher. Further gains in the greenback depend on the tone Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell strikes during two days of Congressional testimony starting later on Wednesday. The dollar edged up to 108.975 yen in Asia, which was its strongest level since May 31. Against the dollar, the euro was little changed at $1.1204 after hitting $1.1194, which was the lowest in nearly three weeks.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Wednesday, led by U.S. crude after an industry group reported that U.S. stockpiles fell for a fourth week in a row, alleviating concerns about oversupply amid global trade tensions. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude had climbed 81 cents, or 1.4%, to $58.64. Brent was up 61 cents, or 1%, at $64.77, having earlier hit $64.95. The U.S. and global benchmarks have gained this year as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and big producers such as Russia have honored commitments to cut output.
In US Equity Markets stocks were near flat on Tuesday as gains in internet shares were offset by fresh warnings from companies about the impact of the U.S.-China trade dispute on earnings. The S&P 500 lost 0.09%, to 2,973.18 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.34%, to 8,126.10. Gains in Amazon.com, Facebook Inc and Netflix kept the Nasdaq in positive territory. Netflix rose 0.9% after Cowen and Co said the video streaming services provider would benefit from high viewership for the recently released third series of its original show “Stranger Things”.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields ticked up on Tuesday in muted trading ahead of the release of June’s Federal Reserve meeting minutes on Wednesday.Yields at the short end of the curve moved more than at the long end, extending a multi-day trend as the market awaited the Federal Open Market Committee minutes, and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s congressional testimony on Wednesday. The two-year Treasury bond yield was last up 3.1 basis points at 1.911%, the highest since mid-June. The benchmark 10-year yield was last up 2.7 basis points to 2.061%.