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February 14 (Reuters) – ——————————————– ———————————————

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SHARES

GLOBAL – Global stocks fell on Friday on growing concerns over escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia and the prospect of a tightening schedule of interest rate hikes from the U.S. Federal Reserve in response to high inflation for decades.

The MSCI World Equity Index (.MIWD00000PUS), which tracks stocks from 49 countries, fell 10.85 points, or 1.49%, to 715.46. Emerging market stocks (.MSCIEF) fell 0.85%.

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NEW YORK — Stocks on Wall Street ended sharply lower Friday for the second straight session, as investors worried about heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) fell 1.43% to end at 34,738.06 points, while the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 1.90% to 4,418.64. The Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) fell 2.78% to 13,791.15.

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LONDON — Losses in tech stocks sent European stocks tumbling on Friday after soaring U.S. inflation pushed bond yields higher, although a positive earnings season and strong commodity prices helped the STOXX 600 record its first weekly gain this year.

The pan-European STOXX 600 index (.STOXX) closed down 0.6%, but gained 1.6% this week, its best since late December.

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TOKYO — Japanese stocks rose on Thursday, with technology stocks following the overnight rise on Wall Street, even as caution ahead of U.S. economic data weighed on investor sentiment.

The Nikkei stock average (.N225) rose 0.42% to close at 27,696.08, after climbing as much as 1% earlier in the session. The broader Topix (.TOPX) gained 0.53% to 1,962.61.

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SHANGHAI — Chinese stocks closed lower on Friday as faster credit growth in January failed to boost investor confidence amid concerns over more aggressive U.S. interest rate hikes after searing data on the economy. inflation also weighed.

The blue-chip CSI300 (.CSI300) fell 0.8% to 4,601.40, while the Shanghai Composite Index (.SSEC) fell 0.7% to 3,462.95. .

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AUSTRALIA — Australian stocks fell to their worst day in two weeks on Friday, led by tech stocks after searing US inflation data fueled bets on more aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and caused Wall Street to fall sharply.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (.AXJO) fell 1% to 7,217.30, breaking a three-day winning streak to mark its worst session since January 27. However, the benchmark index gained 1.4% for the week, its second in a row. .

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SEOUL — South Korean stocks were under pressure on Friday and closed lower for the week after a jump in U.S. inflation sparked fears over aggressive rate hikes by the Federal Reserve.

The benchmark KOSPI (.KS11) was down 24.22 points, or 0.87%, at 2,747.71 at 0632 GMT.

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EXCHANGE

NEW YORK — The dollar rose on Friday along with other safe havens after the United States said Russia had massed enough troops near Ukraine to launch a major invasion.

The dollar was mostly trading sideways when the US warning hit the markets. The dollar index, a measure of the greenback against six major currencies, rose 0.258%.

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SHANGHAI — The Chinese yuan weakened against the dollar on Friday as surprisingly strong inflation data bolstered expectations of a U.S. rate hike, but the currency found support on rapid credit growth numbers interior.

The yuan opened at 6.3604 to the dollar and was changing hands at 6.3652 by midday, 126 pips lower than the previous late session close.

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AUSTRALIA – The Australian dollar lost ground on Friday after the country’s central bank insisted it was in no rush to raise interest rates, even as markets around the world screamed for a tightening aggressive in the face of rising inflation.

The Aussie fell to $0.7147, after hitting an overnight high of $0.7248, although that left it up 1% on the week and well off the recent low of 0. $6967.

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SEOUL – The Korean won weakened and the benchmark bond yield rose on Friday.

The won was quoted at 1,198.5 to the dollar on the onshore settlement platform, down 0.17% from its previous close at 1,196.5.

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TREASURY

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Speculators turned net short on 2-year U.S. Treasury bill futures, which reflect interest rate expectations, as bearish bets hit their highest level since the end of October last year, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Friday.

By contrast, investors reduced their net short position in benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury futures, falling to their lowest level since late October last year.

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LONDON — German bond yields fell slightly on Friday as markets stabilized a day after higher-than-expected US inflation pushed debt yields higher.

Germany’s 10-year yield, the eurozone benchmark, rose 7 basis points to its highest level since 2018.

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TOKYO — Yields on Japanese government bonds strengthened on Thursday after weak demand for an auction prompted investors to sell debt, pushing benchmark 10-year yields to a new high.

The 10-year JGB yield rose 1.5 basis points to 0.220%, its highest since January 2016.

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MERCHANDISE

GOLD

Gold prices surged to a nearly two-month high on Friday as concerns over soaring inflation and escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine boosted demand for the safe-haven metal .

Spot gold rose 1.6% to $1,855.17 an ounce at 2:27 p.m. ET (1927 GMT), its highest level since Nov. 19, and was poised for a gain 2.5% weekly. US gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,842.1.

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IRON-ORE

Chinese iron ore futures plunged more than 8% on Friday night after regulators and the country’s industry association issued warnings about recent unusual swings in prices for the key ingredient in the steel industry.

The most actively traded iron ore futures contract on the Dalian Commodity Exchange fell more than 8% to around 766 yuan ($120.53) a ton at 1333 GMT. It jumped nearly 6% earlier on Friday and closed at 805 yuan a ton in afternoon trading.

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BASE METALS

Copper tumbled on Friday, hit by profit taking and risk aversion sentiment in the broader financial markets on worries about soaring inflation.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 3.7% at $9,872.50 a tonne as of 1710 GMT after three days of gains that propelled the price to its highest level in nearly four months.

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OIL

Oil prices ended up 3% on Friday at new seven-year highs as growing fears of an invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a major energy producer, added to concerns. concerns about global crude supply.

Brent crude futures settled $3.03, or 3.3%, at $94.44 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose $3.22, or 3, 6%, to $93.10 a barrel.

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PALM OIL

Malaysian palm oil futures rose on Friday on concerns over weak production, although they posted a second straight week of losses on sluggish export expectations.

The benchmark palm oil contract for April delivery on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange rose 0.81% to close at 5,580 ringgit ($1,332.38) a tonne, after falling 1.1 % one day earlier.

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RUBBER

Japanese rubber futures rose for a third straight session on Friday, posting their first weekly gain in two, as optimism grows about China’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential for a vaccine.

The Osaka Exchange rubber contract for April delivery ended at 3.1 yen, or 1.3%, up to 235.6 yen per kg.

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