In Asian Equity Markets mainland Chinese stocks declined in early trade, with the Shanghai composite down about 0.5%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed 0.51% as shares of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing fell 1.12%. he Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.9% while the Topix index shed 0.65%. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.79% as most of the sectors traded lower. Markets in South Korea are closed on Wednesday for a holiday.
In Currency Markets the British pound nursed losses on Wednesday, after hitting a one-month low on reports that Brexit talks between Britain and the European Union were close to breaking down, while the dollar weakened slightly on rising trade tensions. The dollar, meanwhile, gave up some ground gained overnight as the U.S. imposition of visa restrictions on Chinese officials over the treatment of Muslim minorities threatened to derail already delicate trade negotiations.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell for a third consecutive session on Wednesday as the prospect of the United States and China striking a trade deal in talks this week dimmed, raising uncertainties for global economic growth and oil demand. U.S. industry data showing a bigger-than-expected rise in stockpiles at the world’s top oil producer also depressed prices: Brent crude futures fell 27 cents, or 0.5%, to $57.97 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $52.38, down 25 cents or 0.5%.
In US Equity Markets stocks ended down and near the day’s lows on Tuesday as news that the United States has imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials overshadowed comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell suggesting openness to further interest rate cuts. The S&P 500 lost 1.56%, to 2,893.06 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.67%, to 7,823.78. Losses were broad-based, led by a 2% drop in the interest-rate sensitive S&P 500 financial index.
In Bond Markets Japanese government bond (JGB) prices fell across maturities on Wednesday, taking cues from a rally in Tokyo stocks and overnight losses in U.S. Treasuries, and as investors awaited U.S.-China trade talks due later in the week. Benchmark 10-year JGB futures fell 0.29 point to 154.95, with a trading volume of 19,545 lots. The key 10-year cash JGB yield rose 2 basis points (bps) to minus 0.210%.