In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei fell to a one-week low on Monday morning as many sectors including real estate firms and brokers languished after a recent rally, offsetting gains in companies with strong results such as Nissin Foods. The Nikkei declined 0.7 percent to 22,522.61 in midmorning trade after hitting as low as 22,474.16, the lowest since Nov. 6. The broader Topix lost 0.5 percent to 1,791.67. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan fell 0.05 percent, with mainland Chinese stocks rising 0.6 percent to two-year highs. Shanghai Composite rose 0.30 percent and the Hang Seng Index rose 0.27 percent. Australian index, S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.23 percent.
In Currency Markets the pound fell early on Monday as troubles mounted for British Prime Minister May, with a report that 40 Conservative MPs are readying a leadership challenge, while Brexit talks face a crucial deadline. Sterling was last down 0.55 percent at $1.3120, pulling away from an eight-day peak of $1.3229 scaled on Friday on better-than-expected data on British industry. The greenback was up 0.1 percent at 113.660 yen. The euro fell 0.1 percent to $1.1653. The Australian dollar lost 0.05 percent to $0.7655 to edge back towards a 3-1/2-month low of $0.7625 marked at the end of October. The New Zealand dollar shed 0.15 percent to $0.6923. The dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was 0.15 percent higher at 94.533.
In Commodities Markets oil trading was cautious on Monday amid ongoing tensions in the Middle East and after a rising rig count in the United States suggested producers there are preparing to increase output. Brent crude futures were at $63.58 per barrel, up 6 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $56.81 per barrel, up 7 cents from its last settlement. Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,275.63 per ounce. U.S. gold futures for December delivery gained 0.1 percent to $1,275.80. In other precious metals, silver edged 0.1 percent higher to $16.91 per ounce. Platinum rose 0.4 percent to $929.35 an ounce and palladium was up 0.6 percent, to $999.50.
In US Equity Markets stocks ended marginally lower on Friday, with losses in Intel and Apple as investors worried about the future of promised corporate tax cuts following dueling plans unveiled by Republican lawmakers. The Dow fell 0.17 percent to end at 23,422.21, while the S&P 500 lost 0.09 percent to 2,582.3. The Nasdaq Composite edged up 0.01 percent to 6,750.94. Nvidia jumped 5.27 percent and hit a record high after the chipmaker’s revenue forecast for the current quarter topped estimates. Disney rose 2.05 percent as the promise of a new “Star Wars” trilogy overshadowed its weak quarterly results. Time Warner Inc jumped 4.08 percent while News Corp climbed 5.15 percent.
In Bond Markets Japanese government bond prices fell across the board on Monday, following a decrease by U.S. Treasuries, although the losses were limited as Tokyo shares continued retreating from 26-year peaks. The two-year yield and the 10-year yield each rose a basis point to minus 0.170 percent and 0.045 percent, respectively. The 30-year yield was 2.5 basis points higher at 0.825 percent.