19 May 2017

Currency Markets the dollar sagged against the yen on Friday and was on track for weekly losses, bruised by worries that political turmoil in Washington could delay efforts by U.S. President Donald Trump to implement his economic stimulus plans. The dollar eased 0.1 percent to 111.39 yen, having set a three-week low of 110.24 yen on Thursday. The euro was last trading at $1.1112, up 0.1 percent on the day but down from a six-month high of $1.1174 set on Thursday. Elsewhere, among emerging market currencies, the Brazilian real  nursed losses after falling 8 percent on Thursday following allegations that President Michel Temer condoned bribes to silence a key witness in a corruption scandal. The real last stood at 3.3685 per U.S. dollar.

Commodities Markets oil futures rose on Friday to the highest in nearly a month on growing optimism that big producing countries will extend output cuts to curb a persistent glut in crude, with key benchmarks heading for a second week of gains. Brent crude was up 0.7 percent, at $52.85. U.S. crude oil was up 0.8 percent, at $49.73 a barrel, highest since April 26. The contract is heading for a weekly increase of 4 percent. Spot gold had risen 0.3 percent to $1,249.76 per ounce. U.S. gold futures were down 0.3 percent at $1,249.60 an ounce. Silver was up 0.4 pct at $16.60 an ounce. Platinum was down 0.2 pct at $930.50 an ounce and palladium was down 0.2 pct at $760.53 per ounce.

US Equity Markets stocks  rebounded on Thursday from its biggest selloff in more than eight months with help from a move to loosen internet regulations and strong economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.27 percent, to 20,663.02, the S&P 500 gained 0.37 percent, to 2,365.72 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.73 percent, to 6,055.13. The Telecommunications Services sector was the S&P’s biggest percentage gainer with a 1.2-percent rise. U.S. telecom regulators voted to advance a Republican plan to reverse a 2015 “net neutrality” order. Cisco fell 7.2 percent after the networking gear maker forecast current-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates.

Bond Markets longer-dated Japanese government bond prices gained on Friday, supported by a regular Bank of Japan debt-buying operation that helped flatten the yield curve. The benchmark 10-year JGB yield was flat at 0.040 percent after rising to as high as 0.045 percent earlier in response to a rise in U.S. Treasury yields. The 30-year bond yield fell half a basis point to 0.800 percent after the BOJ offered to buy 300 billion yen ($2.69 billion) of longer-dated JGBs in its regular bond-buying operation.

Asian Equity Markets Japan’s Nikkei index fell on Friday with investors unsettled by White House turmoil, although Takata Corp shares rose after four carmakers settled claims over the company’s airbag inflators. The Nikkei was down 0.25 percent at 19,507.52. The broader Topix fell 0.15 percent to 1,552.87 and the JPX-Nikkei Index 400 was down 0.1 percent at 13,863.24. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan fell 0.1 percent, on track for a weekly loss of 0.5 percent. Chinese stocks added 0.1 percent, up 0.4 percent for the week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng advanced 0.2 percent, set for a weekly rise of 0.1 percent.