In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei index slid on Wednesday morning as stocks of exporters were sold after the dollar fell against the yen in the wake of a new controversy for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration. The Nikkei shed 0.3 percent to 20,131.06 in mid-morning trade. The broader Topix decreased 0.4 percent to 1,621.45. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan ticked up 0.4 percent. Markets in China were weaker. The Shanghai Composite Index was down 0.20 percent to 3196.56 as of mid-morning. The Hang Seng Index was up 0.82 percent to 26,089, while South Korea’s Kospi Index was down 0.14 percent to 2,392.69.
In Currency Markets the dollar edged down to 14-month lows against the euro in Asian trading on Wednesday as investors, already wary ahead Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony, digested emails released by President Donald Trump’s eldest son suggesting he welcomed Russia’s help in last year’s election campaign. The euro added 0.2 percent to $1.14865, after rising as high as $1.14885, its loftiest peak since May 2016. The dollar lost 0.3 percent to 113.60 yen, falling from a four-month high of 114.495 yen touched on Tuesday. The dollar index, which measures the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, was down 0.1 percent on the day at 95.551.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rose more than 1.5 percent on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous day as the U.S. government cut its crude production outlook for next year and as fuel inventories plunged. Brent crude futures were up 1.6 percent, at $48.28 per barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $45.82 per barrel, up 1.7 percent. U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 8.1 million barrels in the week to July 7 to 495.6 million, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API), in an indictor that a long-standing fuel supply overhang is starting to draw down. Gold futures for August delivery edged up 0.37 percent to $1,219.23 as of mid-morning.
In US Equity Markets stocks ended little changed on Tuesday in a session marked by knee-jerk reactions to events in Washington that drove investors to first worry then hope about prospects for the Trump administration’s economic agenda. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.55 point to 21,409.07, the S&P 500 lost 0.08 percent, to 2,425.53 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.27 percent, to 6,193.31. Among sectors, energy led gains, with a 0.5 percent increase, following gains in oil prices. Snap Inc shares fell 8.9 percent after lead underwriter Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock and raised concerns about the social media company’s ability to compete against rival Instagram.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell in choppy trading on Tuesday after Federal Reserve officials, on the eve of Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s congressional testimony on monetary policy, expressed doubts about further interest rate hikes due to low inflation. In late trading, the benchmark 10-year Treasury note yielded 2.364 percent , down slightly from 2.371 percent late on Monday. U.S. 30-year yields were at 2.924 percent, compared with Monday’s 2.923 percent.
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