In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Topix index rose to a 26-year high on Thursday, while the Nikkei share average broke the 23,000 level for the first time since January 1992 as financial and securities shares rallied. The Topix was up 1.4 percent at 1,843.31 at the end of morning trade, after earlier rising as high as 1,844.05, its loftiest level since November 1991. The Nikkei jumped 2 percent to 23,368.16. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan was up 0.3 percent and in close reach of a 10-year high set the previous day. Australian stocks rose 0.4 percent and to their highest level since January 2008 while South Korea’s KOSPI added 0.2 percent. Shanghai advanced 0.1 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng climbed 0.6 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar held steady versus a basket of currencies on Thursday, but its near-term outlook was seen clouded by worries over possible delays to U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax reform plans. Against the yen, the dollar edged up 0.1 percent to 113.98 yen, but remained below an eight-month high of 114.735 yen set on Monday. The euro held steady at $1.1592, staying above a low of $1.1553 set on Tuesday, which was the euro’s lowest level since July 20. The New Zealand dollar rose to as high as $0.6974 in early Asian trade on Thursday, its highest level since Oct. 24. The dollar last stood at 94.903 versus a basket of six major currencies, staying below a three-month high of 95.150 set in late October.
In Commodities Markets oil prices held steady on Thursday after falling late in the previous session, supported by ongoing supply cuts led by OPEC and Russia. Brent futures were at $63.66 per barrel, up 0.3 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $56.94 per barrel, up 0.2 percent. U.S. crude stockpiles rose 2.2 million barrels in the week to Nov. 3, to 457.14 million barrels, the EIA said on Wednesday, contrary to analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 2.9 million barrels. U.S. crude production inched up 67,000 barrels per day to 9.62 million bpd, the highest on record. U.S. gold futures for December delivery lost 0.2 percent to $1,281.40.
In US Equity Markets stocks closed at a record high on Wednesday as videogame makers rallied and Apple’s market value climbed above $900 billion. The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.03 percent to end at 23,563.36, while the S&P 500 gained 0.14 percent to 2,594.38. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.32 percent to 6,789.12. The tech sector was boosted 0.5 percent by a 2.17 percent rise in Qualcomm after the smartphone chipmaker launched a server processor aimed at challenging Intel. Intel declined 0.17 percent. Snapchat owner Snap fell 14.62 percent a day after reporting much-slower-than expected advertising revenue and user growth. Snap said China’s Tencent bought a 12-percent stake in the company.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields edged higher on Wednesday with the yield curve close to its flattest level in a decade, as investors reduced their existing bond holdings to make room for this week’s government and corporate bond supply. The 10-year Treasury note yield rose 2.0 basis points at 2.327 percent after touching a near three-week trough of 2.304 percent earlier Wednesday. The 30-year bond yield hovered at a near six-week low reached on Tuesday. The two-year yield increased 1.6 basis points to 1.645 percent.
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