Opening Market Wrap 12/20/17: ‘gens una sumus’.

In Asian Equity Markets Japanese stocks fell on Wednesday morning as construction shares continued to be battered amid a suspected bid-rigging scandal, while Japan Display jumped on a media report the firm is discussing an investment from three Chinese panel makers.

The Nikkei index fell 0.1 percent to 22,838.52 in midmorning trade.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific stocks outside Japan inched up 0.1 percent.

In Greater China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.04 percent.

The Hang Seng Index gained 0.04 percent.

Australia’s S&P/ASX200 gained 0.14 percent.

In Currency Markets the dollar was supported on Wednesday by expectations of a U.S. tax overhaul while a sharp rise in German bond yields helped to underpin the euro.

The dollar edged up 0.1 percent to 112.95 yen, having pulled away from Friday’s low of 112.035, with last week’s high of 113.75 seen as its next target.

Higher euro zone yields underpinned the euro, which inched up 0.1 percent to $1.1847, after rising 0.5 percent on Tuesday.

Against the yen, the euro stood at 133.79 yen, not far from strong resistance levels around 134.50.

Elsewhere, the Canadian dollar stood at C$1.2873 to the U.S. dollar after having hit a five-month low of C$1.2920 on Tuesday.

In Commodities Markets  oil prices inched up on Wednesday, supported by expectations of a fall in U.S. crude inventories and by the ongoing outage of the North Sea Forties pipeline system.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were at $57.73 a barrel, up 0.3 percent, from their last settlement.

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