In Asian Equity Markets moves were mostly minor with Japanese markets closed for a holiday and the United States off for Thanksgiving. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan eked out a fresh 10-year peak with a rise of 0.15 percent. In Greater China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.86 percent and the Hang Seng Index edged up 0.07 percent above 30,000. Australian index, S&P/ASX 200, was down 0.13 percent. At the close in Taiwan, the Taiwan Weighted rose 0.30 percent to hit a new all time high.
In Currency Markets the dollar touched a two-month low against the yen on Thursday, having tumbled after the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting showed some policymakers were concerned about persistently low inflation in a blow to rate hawks. The dollar eased to as low as 111.07 yen, its weakest level since Sept. 18. The euro edged up 0.1 percent to $1.1830, nearing a one-month high of $1.1862 set last week. The Singapore dollar briefly touched a two-month high of S$1.3462 per U.S. dollar, after data showed Singapore’s economy grew at its quickest pace in nearly four years in the third quarter, echoing robust expansion readings across much of Asia. The dollar index later pared its losses and last stood at 93.216.
In Commodities Markets oil prices eased on Thursday, with U.S. crude falling away from two-year highs reached the day before, but the shutdown of the Keystone pipeline and a drawdown in fuel inventories continued to bolster markets despite worries over rising output. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $57.89 a barrel, down 0.2 percent, from their last settlement, but still close to 2015-highs of $58.15 a barrel reached on Wednesday. Brent crude futures were at $63.17 per barrel, 0.2 percent below their last close. U.S. crude inventories fell 1.9 million barrels in the week to Nov. 17, to 457.14 million barrels. Spot gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,290.05 per ounce and silver was down 0.4 percent at $17.08 an ounce.
In US Equity Markets stocks were little changed on Wednesday, with telecom services shares among the biggest movers while the energy sector rose in line with gains in crude oil. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.27 percent, to 23,526.18, the S&P 500 lost 0.08 percent, to 2,597.08 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.07 percent, to 6,867.36. Verizon and AT&T rose 2.0 percent and 1.6 percent respectively on bets they will benefit from the U.S. government’s plan to rescind net neutrality rules put in place by the Obama administration. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Chief Executive Meg Whitman said she would step down in February, sending the company’s shares down 7.2 percent.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury prices gained slightly after the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest meeting on Wednesday affirmed market expectations that it will hike rates in December, with trading volumes subdued before Thursday’s Thanksgiving holiday. Benchmark 10-year notes gained 10/32 in price to yield 2.32 percent, down from 2.36 percent on Tuesday. The yield curve between two-year notes and 10-year notes held near 10-year lows at 58.5 basis points, after falling to 57.4 basis points on Tuesday, the flattest level since late 2007.
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