European Open Market Briefing – 22/08/2017 – by Arjun Lakhanpal

August 22, 2017 by

In Asian Equity Markets Japanese stocks were nearly flat in choppy trade on Tuesday morning as geopolitical uncertainty kept activity in check while investors awaited the annual Jackson Hole conference this week. The Nikkei index edged up 0.1 percent to 19,407.65 in midmorning trade, after traversing negative and positive territory. The broader Topix added 0.1 percent to 1,597.18. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan extended early gains and rose 0.7 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index advanced 0.2 percent while the blue-chip CSI300 index was up 0.4 percent. South Korean stocks added 0.4 percent, despite lingering worries about tensions on the Korean peninsula. Australian stocks added 0.3 percent.

In Currency Markets the dollar inched higher against a basket of currencies on Tuesday, with traders focusing on the annual central banking conference in Jackson Hole this week for insights into the outlook for monetary policy. The dollar rose 0.3 percent to 109.26 yen, pulling away from last week’s low near 108.60 yen, which was the greenback’s weakest level in about four months. The euro fell 0.1 percent to $1.1808. The Australian dollar traded at $0.7940, up 0.03 percent, while sterling traded at $1.2886, down 0.12 percent.  The dollar index, which measures the greenback’s value against a basket of six major currencies, edged up 0.1 percent to 93.169

In Commodities Markets oil prices rose on Tuesday, lifted by indications that supply is gradually tightening, especially in the United States. Brent crude futures were at $51.83 per barrel, up 0.3 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $47.53 a barrel, up 0.3 percent. Spot gold lost 0.2 percent to $1,288.40 an ounce, after rising 0.5 percent in the previous session. Palladium was 0.5 percent lower at $934.00 an ounce after reaching its highest since February 2001 at $940 in the previous session, helped by a rally in industrial metals. Silver and platinum were up 0.1 percent each at $16.99 and $978.70 an ounce respectively.

In US Equity Markets  the benchmark U.S. S&P 500 stock index ended up slightly on Monday after two days of declines, though a decrease in oil prices weighed on energy shares and tensions between the United States and North Korea kept investors on edge. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.13 percent, to 21,703.75, the S&P 500 gained 0.12 percent, to 2,428.37 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.05 percent, to 6,213.13. Shares of sporting good retailers took a hit after analysts downgraded ratings on Nike, Foot Locker and other companies. Nike’s shares fell 2.4 percent, while Foot Locker shares slid 7.4 percent. Herbalife rose 9.8 percent after the nutritional supplement maker said it would buy back $600 million of shares after ending talks to be taken private.

In Bond Markets longer-dated Japanese government bond prices trimmed earlier losses and edged up on Tuesday after an auction of 20-year debt attracted solid demand from investors. The 20-year yield fell half a basis point to 0.545 percent after reaching 0.550 percent earlier, while the 30-year yield was down 1 basis point at 0.830 percent following an earlier rise to 0.845 percent. The 10-year yield was half a basis point higher at 0.035 percent.