In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei index edged lower on Thursday in choppy trade as tech shares fell sharply following a decline in their U.S. counterparts overnight, offsetting gains in banking shares. The Nikkei shed 0.2 percent to 22,557.58 points in mid-morning trade after flirting with positive territory earlier. The broader Topix shed 0.1 percent to 1,783.79. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan fell 0.9 percent, with technology bellwether Samsung Electronics falling 2.9 percent to two-month lows and Taiwan’s TSMC down 1.9 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar held steady on Thursday but was set for a monthly loss against a basket of currencies as investors warily watch progress on U.S. tax reform legislation, while sterling stood tall on optimism a Brexit accord would be reached. The pound gained 0.5 percent to $1.3471 after rising as high as $1.3480, its highest since Sept. 26. The euro added 0.2 percent to $1.1864, poised to gain 1.9 percent for the month though shy of a two-month peak of $1.1961 scaled on Monday. The dollar firmed 0.1 percent against the yen to 111.99, moving away from a 10-week low of 110.85 yen touched on Monday, though still down 1.5 percent for the month. The Australian dollar rose 0.2 percent to $0.7585.
In Commodities Markets oil markets were cautious on Thursday ahead of an OPEC meeting in Vienna, with producers set to debate an extension of the supply-cut agreement that came into effect in January with the goal of tightening supplies and propping up prices. Spot Brent crude oil futures were at $62.74 a barrel, up 21 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $57.41 a barrel, up 11 cents. U.S. crude oil production hit a new record of 9.68 million barrels per day last week, according to government data released on Wednesday. Spot gold was little changed at $1,283.95 an ounce. Silver fell to an eight-week low at $16.47 an ounce before recovering to $16.58.
In US Equity Markets the Nasdaq posted its biggest one-day decline in more than three months on Wednesday as investors fled high-flying technology stocks and shifted to banks and other pockets of the market that could benefit from improving economic conditions, lower regulations and taxes as well as higher interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.44 percent, to 23,940.68, the S&P 500 lost 0.04 percent, to 2,626.07 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 1.27 percent, to 6,824.34. The S&P tech sector shed 2.6 percent for its biggest daily decline in over five months. Shares of Amazon.com, Apple, Google parent Alphabet and Facebook fell between 2 percent and 4 percent.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose across most maturities on Wednesday bolstered by upbeat remarks on the economy by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and data showing stronger than expected U.S. economic growth for the third quarter. In late trading, the 10-year Treasury yield was up at 2.379 percent, from 2.337 percent late on Tuesday. It hit a two-week high of 2.395 percent. U.S. 30-year bond yields were up at 2.818 percent from Tuesday’s 2.765 percent. U.S. two-year yields, which climbed to a nine-year peak last week, were at 1.762 percent from 1.758 percent on Tuesday.
- 11:00 GMT+0 EU CPI Flash Estimate y/y
- 14:30 GMT+0 US Unemployment Claims