International Financial News

Opening Wrap – Monday, November 25, 2019
In Asian Equity Markets indices were higher in Monday morning trade. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index led gains among major markets regionally as it jumped 1.76%, with shares of life insurer AIA rising 3.17%. The moves came after pro-democracy candidates surged to a landslide victory following a record voter turnout, Reuters reported. Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.74%, with shares of index heavyweights Fast Retailing, Softbank Group and Fanuc all seeing gains. South Korea’s Kospi also gained 1.05% as shares of industry heavyweight Samsung Electronics added more than 1%.

In Currency Markets the U.S. dollar and export-focused currencies edged higher on Monday on broadly upbeat headlines about U.S.-China trade talks, while the pound climbed on hopes of an imminent Brexit and an end to years of political paralysis. Moves were marginal, however, as scepticism and weariness of newsflow about both U.S.-China trade negotiations and Brexit kept investors cautious. Sterling rose 0.2% to $1.2854 in Asian trade, lifting it from an almost two-week low hit on Friday following surveys showing businesses in their deepest funk since 2016.

In Commodities Markets oil prices began the week on a brighter note on Monday, posting early gains as positive noises from Washington over the weekend rekindled optimism in global markets that the United States and China could soon sign a deal to end their bitter trade war. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 10 cents, or 0.17% to $57.87 a barrel, having ended last week little changed after tracking ups and downs in the trade talks process. Brent crude futures were at $63.46 was up 7 cents, or 0.11%, the benchmark having also finished little changed last week.

In US Equity Markets indices advanced on Friday as both Washington and Beijing made positive comments on the potential for a trade deal between the world’s two biggest economies and upbeat domestic economic data helped to ease investor worries. The S&P 500 gained 0.22%, to 3,110.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.16%, to 8,519.89. Shares of Tesla Inc fell 6% as Wall Street questioned the look of its newly unveiled electric pickup truck, whose “armored glass” windows shattered in a demonstration. Nordstrom Inc rose 10.6% after the retailer raised its 2019 forecast and reported third-quarter profit above expectations.

In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields were mixed on Friday in choppy trading, as data showing a pickup in manufacturing and services activity was counterbalanced by persistent uncertainty related to trade negotiations with China. U.S. short-term yields edged higher, benefiting from strong economic reports, while those on long-term debt were flat to slightly lower. U.S. 10-year note yields were unchanged at 1.77%. Yields on 30-year bonds, on the other hand, were lower at 2.22%, from Thursday’s 2.23%.

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