In Asian Equity Markets Japanese stocks fell on Tuesday morning, hurt by a combination of rising geopolitical tensions, a stronger yen and volatile trading in Toshiba Corp shares ahead of the third deadline for its earnings filing. The Nikkei index lost 0.5 percent to 18,699.41 in midmorning trade. The broader Topix fell 0.6 percent to 1,490.52 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was down 0.6 percent to 13,357.94. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan swung between gains and losses and was last down 0.4 percent. Chinese stocks fell about 0.1 percent and Hong Kong stocks surrendered earlier gains to slide 0.7 percent. South Korean stocks and Taiwan were also lower. Australian stocks reversed earlier losses to climb 0.5 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar fell in Asian trading on Tuesday, as concerns over tensions with North Korea and Syria weighed on U.S. Treasury yields and offset expectations of U.S. interest rate hikes. The dollar was down 0.2 percent to 110.68 Japanese yen, moving away from its overnight high of 111.57. The euro was steady on the day at to $1.0599 after falling $1.0568 overnight, its lowest level since March 9, amid uncertainty ahead of France’s upcoming presidential election. The Australian dollar fell 0.1 percent to $0.7494, reversing earlier gains. The dollar index, which gauges the U.S. currency against a basket of six major peers, edged down 0.1 percent to 101.950.
In Commodities Markets crude oil climbed to a five-week high on Tuesday, with prices underpinned by tensions following a U.S. missile strike on Syria and a shutdown at Libya’s largest oilfield. Brent crude futures climbed to their highest since March 7 at $56.16 a barrel. Brent was trading up 0.2 percent, at $56.07 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate was trading 6 cents higher, at $53.14 a barrel after climbing to a five-week high of $53.23 a barrel earlier in the session. Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,256.36 per ounce. Spot silver edged up 0.1 percent to $17.93 an ounce. Platinum inched up 0.2 percent to $937.60 an ounce palladium was down 0.1 percent at $787.25.
In US Equity Markets stocks ended a choppy session slightly higher on Monday as gains in energy shares offset losses in financials ahead of quarterly corporate earnings later this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.01 percent, to 20,658.02, the S&P 500 gained 0.07 percent, to 2,357.16 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.05 percent, to 5,880.93. Whole Foods Market was the S&P 500’s biggest percentage gainer on the day, rising 10 percent after activist investor Jana Partners LLC disclosed an 8.3 percent stake in the company as it looks to shake up the company’s board. Swift Transportation rose 23.7 percent after agreeing to a merger with fellow trucking company Knight Transportation. Knight’s shares were up 13.4 percent.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields were near flat late on Monday after an event at the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy where Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen spoke broadly about the U.S. economy and monetary policy. The yield on U.S. benchmark 10-year Treasury notes held at 2.366 percent, while the two-year Treasury yield was 1.278 percent, nearly 1 basis point lower than Friday.
- 09:30 GMT+1 UK CPI y/y