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09 Jan 2017 06:58 GMT+0 - Opening Wrap

In Asian Equity Markets stocks cut early gains as investor caution grew before a news conference by President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday, where his views on global trade and China will be carefully scrutinized for future policy implications. MSCI's ex-Japan Asia-Pacific stocks index was flat on the day, having risen as much as 0.5 percent after posting a rare loss in the previous session. Australia's S&P/ASX200 rose 0.9 percent while Hong Kong stocks  rose 0.2 percent. The Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.25 percent. Trading was light because Japan is shut for a holiday.


In Currency Markets the dollar crept ahead in Asia on Monday after signs of wage pressure in the December U.S. jobs report proved enough to lift Treasury yields, but bulls remained wary of a sudden setback following last week's wave of profit-taking. A holiday in Tokyo kept trading light and the dollar index was just 0.1 percent firmer at 102.33, near the middle of last week's wide 101.30 to 103.82 range. The euro was steady at $1.0530, after ricocheting between $1.0339 and $1.0621 last week, but also gained ground on the yen to 123.65. China's central bank kept up the pressure on Monday, setting a firmer fix for the yuan than many had expected at 6.9262 per dollar, even though that was down from the previous fix.


In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Monday as increased exports from Iran undermined efforts by other oil producers to curb a global fuel supply overhang and as U.S. drillers increased activity for a 10th straight week. Brent crude futures were trading at $56.84 per barrel, down 26 cents from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures were trading at $53.70 per barrel, down 29 cents. Spot gold edged 0.2 percent higher to $1,174.91 an ounce and U.S. gold futures were also up 0.2 percent on Monday at $1,175.40 per ounce. Among other precious metals, silver shed 0.1 percent to $16.46 an ounce and platinum gained 0.1 percent at $968.24. Palladium was up 0.6 percent at 760.50 an ounce. 


In US Equity Markets  the Dow came within one point of 20,000 for the first time on Friday and the Nasdaq and S&P 500 reached record highs, boosted by Apple, extending a two-month rally fueled by optimism about U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.32 percent, to end at 19,963.8 points. The S&P 500 gained 0.35 percent, to 2,276.98 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.6 percent, to 5,521.06. Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors rose, led by the technology sector's 0.96 percent gain.  Apple climbed 1.1 percent after Canada's Competition Bureau did not find sufficient evidence the iPhone maker had engaged in anti-competitive conduct, closing a two-year investigation into the company.


In Bond Markets  U.S. Treasury debt yields rallied from multiweek lows on Friday after data showed a rebound in U.S. wages last month despite a smaller-than-expected jobs gain, which could drive the Federal Reserve to consider raising interest rates as early as the first quarter. In late trading, the U.S. 10-year note was down 13/32 in price, yielding 2.419 percent, compared with 2.368 percent late Thursday.  U.S. 30-year bond prices fell 25/32, yielding 3.002 percent , from Thursday's 2.963 percent. U.S. two-year note yields were at 1.213 percent from 1.178 percent on Thursday.



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