In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei index fell towards a 3-1/2-month low on Thursday, dragged down by Wall Street losses, while steel makers fell after reports that Toyota Motor Corp was looking to cut the price of steel supplied to component makers. The Nikkei was down 0.2 percent at 19,407.30 points by late morning. The broader Topix was down 0.1 percent at 1,598.76. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan rose 0.4 percent. Chinese stocks were down about 0.3 percent, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng jumped 0.45 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI added 0.4 percent and Australian stocks gained 0.25 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar edged higher against the yen on Thursday, paring some of the losses it suffered after U.S. President Donald Trump suggested a shutdown of the government was possible and threatened to terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement. The dollar edged up 0.1 percent to 109.16 yen, regaining some ground in the wake of its 0.5 percent decrease on Wednesday. The euro held steady at $1.1803, after having risen about 0.4 percent the previous day. Both the Canadian dollar and Mexican peso were little changed at C$1.254 and 17.679 to the dollar respectively. The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six currencies, edged up 0.1 percent to 93.259.
In Commodities Markets oil was steady on Thursday, holding gains from the previous session after another fall in U.S. crude inventories indicated a tighter market, and as a tropical storm was heading for oil producing facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. Brent crude futures were at $52.58 per barrel, up 1 cent from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $48.37 a barrel, down 4 cents. Crude inventories fell by 3.3 million barrels in the week ending August 18, to 463.17 million barrels. Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,287.87 an ounce. Silver was nearly unchanged at $17.02 an ounce, while platinum edged 0.3 percent lower to $973.00 an ounce. Palladium remained unchanged at $932.90.
In US Equity Markets stocks closed lower on Wednesday as investors grappled with a threat from President Donald Trump to shut down the government if Congress fails to fund a Mexico border wall. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4 percent, to 21,812.09, the S&P 500 lost 0.34 percent, to 2,444.07 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.3 percent, to 6,278.41. The consumer discretionary index ended down 0.8 percent, dragged lower by a 3.71-percent decline in Lowe’s Companies after disappointing results and forecast. Shares of advertising firm Omnicom lost more than 6.94 percent, while Interpublic Group fell 6.32 percent after WPP cut its sales forecast after consumer goods giants curbed spending. WPP’S U.S.-listed shares fell 11.49 percent.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell on safety buying on Wednesday after President Donald Trump said that he would be willing to risk a government shutdown to secure funding for a border wall, raising fears that a battle to raise the debt ceiling could delay payments on some bonds. Benchmark 10-year notes gained 12/32 in price to yield 2.17 percent, down from 2.22 percent on Tuesday.
- 09:30 GMT+1 UK Second Estimate GDP q/q
- 13:30 GMT+1 US Unemployment Claims