In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei index rose on Wednesday morning tracking overnight gains on Wall Street, but activity was subdued ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision. The Nikkei rose 0.3 percent to 19,953.33 in midmorning trade. The broader Topix was flat at 1,593.68 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was also flat at 14,186.41. Economic data out of China showed retail sales and industrial output topped forecasts in May, but a miss in urban investment reinforced views the world’s second-largest economy will soon start to lose some momentum as lending costs rise and the property market cools. The market reaction was tepid with Shanghai stocks easing 0.5 percent and South Korea off 0.2 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar eased on Wednesday with investors looking past an expected U.S. rate hike later in the day for clues on Federal Reserve policy for the rest of the year. Against the yen, the dollar inched 0.1 percent lower to 109.98, while the euro added 0.1 percent to $1.1217. The New Zealand dollar fell 0.1 percent to $0.7215 after touching a low of $0.7197, moving away from the previous session’s nearly four-month high of $0.7228. The U.S. dollar lost 0.1 percent to C$1.3221 after falling as far as C$1.3209 overnight, its lowest since Feb. 28. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, edged down 0.1 percent to 96.930.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell by one percent early on Wednesday after data showed a build in U.S. crude stocks and OPEC reported a rise in its production despite its pledge to cut back. Brent crude futures were at $48.25 per barrel, down 1 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $45.94 per barrel, down 1.1 percent. Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday that U.S. crude stocks rose by 2.8 million barrels in the week to June 9 to 511.4 million, compared with expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels. Spot gold was up 0.3 percent at $1,269.45 per ounce and silver edged up 0.1 percent to $16.88 per ounce.
In US Equity Markets stocks gained on Tuesday, with the S&P 500, Dow industrials and Russell 2000 setting record closing highs, as technology stocks bounced back and investors positioned for an expected Federal Reserve interest rate hike. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.44 percent, to 21,328.47, the S&P 500 gained 0.45 percent, to 2,440.35 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.73 percent, to 6,220.37. The S&P 500 technology sector rose 0.9 percent, recovering from its biggest two-day decline in nearly a year that also weighed on the broader market. Financials gained 0.4 percent on Tuesday, while energy gained 0.7 percent. Materials were the top gaining sector, rising 1.3 percent.
In Bond Markets short-dated U.S. Treasury yields briefly hit multi-week highs on Tuesday after new data showed rising U.S. services prices, but the market was barely changed after a strong 30-year debt auction ahead of Wednesday’s Federal Reserve decision on interest rates. Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were last at 2.209 percent, compared to 2.213 percent late Monday. U.S. three-year Treasury yields hit 1.511 percent, their highest since May 16, while two-year yields touched their highest in a month of 1.367 percent.
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