In Asian Equity Markets Japanese stocks posted fresh four-month lows on Thursday morning as the yen spiked against the dollar after U.S. President Donald Trump said the U.S currency was too strong, hitting automakers and tech shares hard. The Nikkei 225 index fell 1.0 percent to 18,360.08 in midmorning trade, hitting as low as 18,304.72 earlier, the lowest level since Dec. 5. The broader Topix fell 1.1 percent to 1,462.60 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was down 1.2 percent to 13,114.20. Asian stocks swung between gains and losses with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan last up about 0.2 percent. Chinese stocks were up almost 0.1 percent, while Hong Kong stocks pulled back 0.2 percent.
In Currency Markets the dollar fell broadly on Thursday, falling to a five-month low against the yen, after U.S. President Donald Trump helped accelerate its recent decline by saying the currency was too strong. The U.S. currency was 0.3 percent lower at 108.805 yen after stooping to a five-month low of 108.730. The euro rose 0.1 percent to $1.0669 not far from a six-day high of $1.0675 reached overnight. The dollar lost significant ground against the pound and Swiss franc as well, and as a result the dollar index versus a basket of major currencies lost about 0.7 percent to a two-week low of 100.040. The Australian dollar was up 0.5 percent at $0.7567.
In Commodities Markets crude oil futures slid for a second session on Thursday, moving away from a one-month high touched briefly in the last session as rising U.S. production stoked worries about global oversupply. Benchmark Brent crude futures slid 0.1 percent, to $55.82 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down 0.1 percent, at $53.06 a barrel. Spot gold lost 0.1 percent to $1,285.26 per ounce, after hitting its strongest since Nov. 10 at 1,287.98. U.S. gold futures climbed 0.7 percent to $1,287.50. Spot silver was up 0.1 percent at $18.50, after hitting a 5-month high of $18.56. Platinum rose 0.4 percent to $972.80, while palladium was up 0.5 percent at $800.30
In US Equity Markets stocks eased on Wednesday and the S&P 500 closed below a key technical level for the first time since Election Day, pressured by lingering geopolitical concerns and President Donald Trump’s comments on the dollar and interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.29 percent, to 20,591.86, the S&P 500 lost 0.38 percent, to 2,344.93 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.52 percent, to 5,836.16. The materials and industrials indexes both ended more than 1 percent lower on the day. Delta Air Lines closed down 0.5 percent at $45.05 despite a better-than-expected quarterly profit and an upbeat forecast for current-quarter passenger unit revenue.
In Bond Markets the benchmark 10-year Japanese government bond yield edged down on Thursday to its lowest level since November and within a whisper of zero, taking its cues from lower U.S. Treasury yields and underpinned by solid demand at a 30-year JGB auction. The benchmark 10-year JGB yield fell one basis point to 0.005 percent, while 10-year JGB futures were up 0.19 point in afternoon trade at 151.09. The U.S. benchmark yield approached five-month lows on Wednesday, prompted by comments by U.S. President Donald Trump on favouring low interest rates made in a newspaper interview published in late U.S. trading.
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