In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei share average skidded on Wednesday, taking its cue from a sell-off on Wall Street and a rise in the perceived safe-haven yen. The Nikkei was down 2 percent at 19,065.37 at the end of morning trade, plumbing its lowest intraday levels since late February. The broader Topix fell 1.9 percent to 1,533.90, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was down 2 percent at 13,712.86. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan fell 1.4 percent, its biggest intraday percentage fall since March 9. Australian stocks lost 1.6 percent. The Shanghai composite fell 0.77 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index declined by 1.42 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar struggled near a four-month low against the yen on Wednesday as a bout of investor risk aversion hit U.S. stocks and sent U.S. Treasury yields sharply lower, eroding the greenback’s interest rate allure. The U.S. currency was off 0.1 percent at 111.670 yen after plumbing 111.430, its lowest since Nov. 28. The dollar also nursed large losses against the euro. On Wednesday, the common currency was a touch weaker at $1.0794 after rising 0.6 percent overnight to $1.0819, its highest since Feb. 2. The Australian dollar was down 0.4 percent at $0.7662 , having lost some steam after rising to a four-month high of $0.7748 at the start of the week.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Wednesday as rising crude stocks in the United States underscored an ongoing global fuel supply overhang despite an OPEC-led effort to cut output. Prices for front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil, were at $50.79 per barrel, down 0.3 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 0.4 percent, at $48.08 a barrel. U.S. crude oil inventories climbed by 4.5 million barrels in the week to March 17 to 533.6 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said late on Tuesday. Spot gold was unchanged at $1,245.12 per ounce and spot silver edged down 0.1 percent to $17.46 per ounce.
In US Equity Markets stocks fell sharply on Tuesday as investors worried that President Donald Trump will struggle to deliver promised tax cuts that propelled the market to record highs in recent months, with nervousness deepening ahead of a key healthcare vote. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.14 percent to end at 20,668.01 points, while the S&P 500 lost 1.24 percent to 2,344.02. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.83 percent to 5,793.83. Shares of FedEx Corp fell 3 percent in extended trade after the delivery company’s quarterly report disappointed investors. The S&P financial index lost 2.87 percent, its biggest daily fall since June. Bank of America fell 5.77 percent while Goldman Sachs lost 3.72 percent.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell to three-week lows on Tuesday as stock markets tumbled, raising demand for low-risk U.S. government debt, with analysts citing frustration with the pace of the Trump administration’s fiscal plans as a factor behind the move. Benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasuries gained 11/32 in price to yield 2.43 percent, the lowest yield since March 1 and down from 2.50 percent earlier on Tuesday.
- 15:30 GMT+0 US Crude Oil Inventories
- 21:00 GMT+0 NZD Official Cash Rate
- 21:00 GMT+0 NZD RBNZ Rate Statement