Morning Report


Shares in Asia rose in Friday morning trade as trade negotiations between the U.S. and China continue in Beijing.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 0.9 percent in early trade while the Topix index added 0.78 percent. In South Korea, the Kospi gained 0.32 percent. Australia’s ASX 200 rose 0.4 percent in morning trade, with most sectors seeing gains.

Overnight on Wall Street, stocks rose. The Dow Jones Industrial Averagegained 91.87 points to 25,717.46 and the S&P 500 added 0.4 percent to 2,815.44 — on track for its best first-quarter performance since 1998. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3 percent to 7,669.17.

The moves stateside came following a Reuters report that Chinese officials made unprecedented offers regarding forced technology transfers as well as other major sticking points, as U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin arrived in Beijing for further negotiations.

The 10-year Treasury rate hit its lowest level since December of 2017 on Thursday. This comes after the same bond fell below its three-month counterpart last week — a phenomenon described as a inverted yield curve, seen as an early indicator of a recession.

Currency and Oil

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97.192 after rising from lows below 97.0 yesterday.

The Japanese yen traded at 110.65 against the dollar after seeing a high around 110 yesterday. The Australian dollar was at $0.7083 after weakening from the $0.71 handle in the previous session.

Oil prises rose on Friday pushed up by ongoing supply cuts led by OPEC and US Sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $59.54 per barrel at 0100 GMT, up 24 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.

Oil prices have been supported for much of 2019 by efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-affiliated allies like Russia, known as OPEC+, who have pledged to withhold around 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of supply this year to prop up markets.

WTI is currently heading towards its biggest quarterly gain – currently 32 percent – since Q2 2009, when the recovery from the global financial crisis saw it jump by more than 40 percent.

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