In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei index edged down on Tuesday, following Wall Street’s lead, with investors deterred by geopolitical tensions after the North Korean missile tests, while buying continued to fuel in into small cap stocks. The Nikkei fell 0.2 percent to 19,344.15. The broader Topix was flat at 1,555.04 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was flat at 13,918.61. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan rose almost 0.5 percent, after pulling back slightly in early trade. Australian stocks were up 0.3 percent. The Shanghai composite fell 0.07 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was up 0.38 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar steadied on Tuesday as investors widely expect the Fed to raise interest rates next week and are waiting for clues on the likely pace of hikes, including this week’s U.S. job data. The euro last stood at $1.0582, still short of its two-week high of $1.064 touched on Monday. The dollar edged up 0.1 percent against the yen to 113.92 yen after falling to a one-week low of 113.53 yen on Monday as geopolitical uncertainties prompted investors to buy the perceived safe-haven Japanese currency. The Australian dollar inched higher after the central bank kept interest rates unchanged and showed no hint of considering another easing, underlining the outlook for steady policy. The Aussie was last up 0.6 percent at $0.7621.
In Commodities Markets oil prices were little changed for a third session on Tuesday, with investors searching for direction as concern over rising U.S. shale output offsets production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC members. Brent crude was down 0.2 percent, at $55.90 a barrel and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude eased 0.1 percent to $53.15 a barrel. Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,225.99 per ounce. U.S. gold futures edged up 0.1 percent to $1,226.1. In other precious metals, silver fell 0.2 percent to $17.75 per ounce. Platinum was down 0.2 percent to $972.65, after hitting $970.9 in the previous session, its lowest since Jan. 27. Palladium was down 0.2 percent to $769.25.
In US Equity Markets stocks opened lower on Monday amid losses across sectors as investors’ appetite for risk was curbed by geopolitical tensions in Asia and President Donald Trump’s accusation that his predecessor, Barack Obama, wiretapped him. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.34 percent, at 20,934.06, the S&P 500 lost 0.49 percent, at 2,371.33 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.50 percent, at 5,841.39. Netflix rose 2.3 percent after UBS upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral”. Albemarle fell 5 percent after Citigroup downgraded the lithium producer’s stock to “neutral” from “buy”. Tyson Foods fell 3.2 percent after a strain of bird flu was detected in a chicken breeder flock on a Tennessee farm contracted with the company.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields were steady in a tight trading range on Monday with two-year yields holding below a 7-1/2-year peak, as investors made room for this week’s hefty sale of government and corporate bonds. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was little changed at 2.494 percent, while the 30-year bond yield rose 2 basis points to 3.101 percent.