In Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei index fell on Tuesday as losses on Wall Street and a stronger yen sapped sentiment. The Nikkei was down 0.7 percent at midday at 20,026.45, moving away from Friday’s high of 20,239.81, which was its loftiest level since August 2015 and came after it finally broke through resistance at the 20,000 level. The broader Topix shed 0.6 percent to 1,600.13, while the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 also fell 0.6 percent to 14,270.06. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan lost 0.2 percent, pulling back from a two-year high hit on Monday. Chinese stocks and Hong Kong stocks bucked the trend, rising 0.1 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.
In Currency Markets the dollar hit a six-week low against the safe-haven yen on Tuesday as caution mounted ahead of Britain’s election, a European Central Bank meeting, and former FBI Director James Comey’s testimony to a Senate committee – all of which are set for Thursday. The dollar was down 0.6 percent at 109.770 yen, its lowest since April 25. Sterling was a shade higher at $1.2921 following its rise overnight to a 10-day high of $1.2940. The euro pared overnight losses and rose 0.2 percent to $1.1274. The Australian dollar was down 0.3 percent at $0.7464 after Australia posted current account data for January-March.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell for a third day on Tuesday, hit by concerns that a political rift between Qatar and several Arab states would undermine an OPEC-led push to tighten the market. Brent crude was trading at $49.27 per barrel, down 0.4 percent from its last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.2 percent, to $47.21 per barrel. Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,283.94 per ounce. Among other precious metals, palladium rose 0.1 percent to $842.25 an ounce. It hit its strongest level since September 2014 at $849.40 on Monday. Silver gained 0.5 pct to $17.59. It hit a peak of $17.647 on Monday, highest since April 26. Platinum was up 0.5 pct at $955.
In US Equity Markets stocks fell on Monday as a decrease in Apple partly offset gains in energy and financial stocks, some of the market’s worst-performing sectors so far this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1 percent, to 21,184.04, the S&P 500 lost 0.12 percent, to 2,436.1 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.16 percent, to 6,295.68. Apple shares fell 1.0 percent to $153.93 as the iPhone maker unveiled products and services in its annual developers conference. Bristol-Myers Squibb shares fell 4.7 percent after an underwhelming presentation at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s annual meeting in Chicago over the weekend.
In Bond Markets Japanese government bond prices inched down on Tuesday with the market weighed down by an overnight decrease in U.S. Treasuries, although firm demand for new 30-year debt helped contain the losses. The benchmark 10-year JGB yield was half a basis point higher at 0.050 percent. The 20-year yield was unchanged at 0.560 percent.