In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei share average rose to a one-week high on Friday as the yen fell, after an expected policy decision by the Bank of Japan provided relief to investors. The Nikkei rose 0.9 percent to as much as 20,015.16 in early afternoon trade, its highest since June 9 after the BOJ kept monetary policy steady as expected, before quickly paring gains. The broader Topix gained 0.6 percent to 1,598.05 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 added 0.7 percent to 14,228.73. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan was steady, on track to end the week down 0.7 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar stood tall in Asia on Friday, on track for weekly gains against a currency basket, after upbeat U.S. economic data gave investors reason to hope the U.S. central bank will stick with its plan to hike rates. The dollar rose 0.2 percent to 111.18 yen, on track to gain 1.1 percent for the week. The euro was steady on the day at $1.1147, well below a seven-month high of $1.1296 touched on Wednesday, and down 0.6 percent for the week. Sterling edged up 0.1 percent to $1.2773, getting a lift overnight after the Bank of England (BoE) came closer to hiking interest rates than many had believed it would. The dollar index added 0.1 percent to 97.491.
In Commodities Markets oil prices were not far off six-month lows, held down by an ongoing supply overhang that persists despite an OPEC-led effort to cut production and prop up crude markets. Brent crude futures were at $46.97 per barrel, only slightly above their last settlement. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were also up a notch at $44.48 per barrel. Spot gold lost 0.1 percent to $1,252.61 per ounce after touching its weakest since May 24 at $1,251.05 earlier in the session. Silver was flat on the day at $16.71 per ounce. Platinum was up 0.3 percent at $922.45 per ounce. Palladium fell 0.3 percent to $867.15 per ounce.
In US Equity Markets a recent decline in technology stocks worsened on Thursday, dragging on major U.S. indexes, while investors fretted about the economy’s health after the Federal Reserve lifted interest rates. The Dow fell 0.07 percent, to 21,359.9, the S&P 500 lost 0.22 percent, to 2,432.46 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.47 percent, to 6,165.50. Financials lost 0.4 percent and energy fell 0.7 percent. Utilities and real estate gained 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively, making them the best performing sectors along with the 0.6 percent rise for industrials. In other corporate news, Kroger shares lost 18.9 percent after the supermarket chain slashed its full-year profit forecast.
In Bond Markets Japanese government bond prices on Friday pared most of their early losses after the Bank of Japan refrained from making significant changes to its policy statement. The price of the benchmark 10-year JGB futures, which had shed as much as 0.12 point earlier in the session, were last down 0.03 point at 150.43. The yield on the 10-year cash benchmark bonds stood flat at 0.050 percent. The 20-year yield rose 0.5 basis point to 0.560 percent , while the 30-year yield gained 1.5 basis points to 0.805 percent.
- 13:30 GMT+1 US Building Permits