In European Equity Markets indices mixed on Wednesday morning. Mainland Chinese shares slipped in early trade, with the Shanghai composite declining 0.2%. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 1.3% as protests continued in the city on Wednesday over the contentious China extradition law. The Nikkei 225 in Japan was largely flat in morning trade, with shares of conglomerate and index heavyweight Softbank Group falling more than 2%. Over in South Korea, the Kospi shed earlier gains as it slipped fractionally, while Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.29%.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar hung near an 11-week low against its peers on Wednesday, weighed by expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve could cut interest rates some time in the next few months. The dollar index versus a basket of six major currencies was flat at 96.698, trading just above the 96.459 level it hit on Monday, its lowest since March 25. The euro was steady at $1.1328 and in close reach of a three-month peak of $1.1348 scaled on Friday. China’s yuan was steady in offshore trade at 6.9259 per dollar after bouncing back the previous day from seven-month lows.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell more than 1% on Wednesday, weighed down by a weaker oil demand outlook and a rise in U.S. crude inventories despite growing expectations of ongoing OPEC-led supply cuts. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 87 cents, or 1.4%, at $61.42 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 85 cents, or 1.6%, at $52.41 per barrel. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) cut its forecasts for 2019 world oil demand growth and U.S. crude oil production in a monthly report released on Tuesday.
In US Equity Markets stocks edged lower in late afternoon trading on Tuesday, as investors paused following a run of gains tied to optimism over easing trade tensions and the prospect of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve. Industrials and utilities indexes led the way lower, while a decline in technology stocks, including Microsoft Corp and Adobe Inc, added pressure. the S&P 500 lost 0.13%, to 2,882.98 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.12%, to 7,813.81. The S&P utilities index on Tuesday was down 1%.
In Bond Markets an uptick in U.S. inflation and strong results from a $38 billion Treasury auction on Tuesday drove short-dated yields higher, flattening the yield curve. The two-year yield , which reflects market expectations of rate hikes, was last up 2.2 basis points to 1.922%. At the long end, the 10-year yield was 0.4 basis point higher at 2.145% and the 30-year yield 0.1 basis point lower at 2.620%.