In Asian Equity Markets indices were mixed on Wednesday trade as stocks on Wall Street bounced back overnight on hopes of stimulus as the country grapples with the coronanvirus outbreak. Australia stocks led losses among the region’s major markets, with the S&P/ASX 200 dropping 4.64% as majority of the sectors fell. The Shanghai composite gained 1.26%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was fractionally higher. In Japan, shares remained in positive territory as the Nikkei 225 gained 0.84% while the Topix index surged 2.86%.
In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar held overnight gains against most major currencies on Wednesday, after U.S. yields jumped and as deepening fear around the coronavirus drove a scramble for greenback. The pound and safe-haven yen made the best efforts at recovery, but only managed to recoup fractions of their losses. The yen was last up 0.3% at 107.37 per dollar, the pound up 0.5% at $1.2108 and the euro was steady at $1.1000. Commodity-sensitive currencies, like the Aussie and kiwi, were trampled below $0.60 in the stampede.
In Commodities Markets oil prices steadied on Wednesday after slipping to new four-year lows, sapped by fears for fuel demand and the global economy amid travel and social lockdowns triggered by the coronavirus epidemic. Brent crude was up by 34 cents, or 1.2%, at $29.07 a barrel, after falling earlier to $28.40, the lowest since early 2016. U.S. crude was up by 13 cents, or 0.5%, at $27.08 a barrel, after falling to as low as $26.20, also the lowest in four years. West Texas Intermediate fell 6% on Tuesday.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 rose 6% on Tuesday, clawing back a significant portion of Monday’s steep losses, as the Federal Reserve and the White House took further steps to boost liquidity and stem damage from the coronavirus outbreak. Growth sectors also got some attention, with technology climbing 6.8% a day after its record daily percentage decline. Healthcare stocks were another bright spot. Pfizer Inc gained 6.6% after signing a deal with Germany’s BioNTech SE to co-develop a potential coronavirus vaccine.
In Bond Markets the benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury note yield climbed back over the 1% level on Tuesday as a modicum of renewed confidence shored up Wall Street and reduced demand for safe government debt after the Federal Reserve announced plans to rescue the stressed commercial paper market. The yield on the 10-year note rose to 1.067%, from 0.728% at Monday’s close, its highest since March 3, as risk appetite improved after the Fed said it will relaunch financial crisis-era purchases of short-term corporate debt.