Asian Markets

Asia Morning Call-Global Markets

7 minute read
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Nov 25 (Reuters) - ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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** indicates closing price

All prices as of 18:10 GMT

EQUITIES

GLOBAL - Global shares were down and oil prices steadied on Wednesday after poorer prospects for Germany's economic recovery sent the euro to its weakest level since July last year and as investors weighed mixed U.S. economic data.

MSCI's gauge of stocks across the globe (.MIWD00000PUS) shed 0.44%.

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NEW YORK - The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq rose on Wednesday as positive labor and consumer data boosted economically sensitive sectors, while major technology shares bounced back from two days of steep losses.

At 11:50 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) was down 78.33 points, or 0.22%, at 35,735.47 and the S&P 500 (.SPX) was up 1.90 points, or 0.04%, at 4,692.60. The Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) was up 37.22 points, or 0.24%, at 15,812.36.

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LONDON - European shares ended a four-day losing streak on Wednesday with shares of Telecom Italia leading gains, but fears around Europe's worsening COVID-19 situation and the prospect of severe restrictions restrained the market.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) climbed 0.1% after recording its worst session in nearly two months on Tuesday amid a continental resurgence in coronavirus cases and fears of rising interest rates.

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TOKYO - Japan's Nikkei ended lower on Wednesday, as growth-oriented stocks took a beating amid investor concerns that the U.S. Federal Reserve might speed up policy tightening to cope with broadening inflationary risks.

The Nikkei average (.N225) dropped 1.58% to 29,302.66.

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SHANGHAI - China stocks closed up to their highest in four weeks on Wednesday, as food and beverage shares and coal miners gained, while improving sentiment in the real estate sector underpinned developers' shares.

The Shanghai Composite Index (.SSEC) gained 0.1% to 3,592.70 points.

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AUSTRALIA - Australian shares ended a see-saw trading session slightly lower on Wednesday, as strength in the U.S. dollar and firmer Treasury yields dragged gold miners and tech stocks, and outweighed a rally in the energy sector.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index (.AXJO) ended 0.15% lower at 7,399.4, after having added 0.8% on Tuesday.

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SEOUL - South Korean shares closed lower on Wednesday as growing bets of an earlier-than-expected tightening in U.S. monetary policy lifted Treasury yields, and daily cases of COVID-19 in the country touched a record.

The KOSPI (.KS11) ended down 3.04 points, or 0.10%, at 2,994.29.

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FOREIGN EXCHANGE

NEW YORK - The dollar hit fresh 16-month highs against the euro on Wednesday as investors priced for the prospect that the Federal Reserve will begin hiking rates in mid-2022 while the European Central Bank is expected to remain more dovish as growth in the region lags.

The dollar index gained 0.38% on the day to 96.864.

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SHANGHAI - The yuan was largely flat against the dollar on Wednesday, though it's value struck a near six-year high on an index of currencies belonging to China's major trading partners.

The onshore yuan , however, has only gained 2.14% against the dollar in the same period.

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AUSTRALIA - The New Zealand dollar slipped on Wednesday and bond markets rallied after the country's central bank hiked rates by less than hawks had wagered on, though it also lifted forecasts for how far rates would ultimately have to rise.

The kiwi dollar eased to $0.6917 , from $0.6943, and was testing support around $0.6910/15. A break below would likely see a retreat to the September trough of $0.6860.

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SEOUL - The won gained on Wednesday, while the benchmark bond yield fell.

The won was quoted at 1,186.5 per dollar on the onshore settlement platform , up 0.27%.

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TREASURIES

NEW YORK - U.S. Treasury yields hovered near highs for the year in choppy trading on Wednesday after data released Wednesday suggested the job market and consumer spending continue to improve.

The yield on 10-year Treasury notes was down 1.7 basis points to 1.648% after rising as much as 3 basis points earlier in the day, near its high for the year of 1.74% reached in March.

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LONDON - Southern European government bond yields hit their highest levels in weeks on Wednesday after the New Zealand central bank hiked interest rates, raising the prospect of similar moves by other policymakers to control surging consumer prices.

Italy's benchmark 10-year bond yield was up 4 basis points (bps) at 1.08% after briefly rising to a three-week high at 1.13%.

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TOKYO - Japanese government bond yields rose on Wednesday, taking cues from elevated U.S. Treasury yields, while local investors shrugged off strong results from the Bank of Japan's bond-buying operations.

The 10-year JGB yield rose one basis point to 0.080%.

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COMMODITIES

GOLD

Gold prices slipped on Wednesday as robust U.S. economic data lifted the dollar and Treasury yields, while investors awaited the minutes of the Federal Reserve's November meeting for clues on the pace of stimulus tapering.

Spot gold fell 0.2% to $1,785.88 per ounce by 12:31 p.m. ET (1731 GMT), while U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% at $1,787.00.

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IRON ORE

Chinese coking coal futures surged more than 13% on Wednesday, boosted by improving sentiment in the property market and expectations of higher steelmaking demand at mills, although analysts are flagging risks on weak fundamentals.

The most-traded coking coal futures on the Dalian Commodity Exchange , for January delivery, powered as much as 13.5% to 2,170 yuan ($339.71) per tonne.

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BASE METALS

Copper prices rose to their highest in a month on Wednesday, and other industrial metals also climbed after top consumer China announced measures to shore up its property sector.

Benchmark copper on the LME was up 0.9% at $9,797 a tonne at 1711 GMT after touching its highest since Oct. 26 at $9,880.

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OIL

Oil prices were largely steady on Wednesday as investors questioned the effectiveness of a U.S.-led release of oil from strategic reserves and turned their focus to how producers will respond.

Brent crude was up 17 cents, or 0.2%, at $82.48 a barrel by 1605 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 7 cents, or 0.1%, to $78.56.

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PALM OIL

Malaysian palm oil futures rebounded on Wednesday, having been in retreat for three sessions, tracking costlier soyoil on the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) as the ringgit extended losses.

The benchmark palm oil contract for February delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 57 ringgit, or 1.2%, to 4,909 ringgit ($1,166.31).

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RUBBER

Japanese rubber futures surged to a six-month high on Wednesday, helped by growing hopes that automobile production will pick up from a slump driven by microchip shortages. Weakness of the yen against the U.S. dollar also provided support.

Osaka Exchange's rubber contract for April delivery , finished 9.4 yen higher at 247.8 yen ($2.2) per kg. It hit the highest since May 31 at 254.5 yen earlier in the session.

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