20 July 2021
World Markets at a glance for Currency, Equity, Commodity, Bonds, Crypto Currency, Financial News & Major Economic Events.
- Yen, dollar ascendant as Delta variant spurs flight to safety
- Asia markets fall after overnight Dow plunge
- Oil piles on losses following OPEC+ deal to boost supply, rising COVID cases
Safe-harbour currencies like the Japanese yen and U.S. dollar held near multi-month highs against the riskier Australian dollar and British pound on Tuesday, as fears grow that a rampant coronavirus variant could upend the global economic recovery.
The dollar strengthened to an almost eight-month high of $0.73225 per Aussie to start the trading week, and hit the highest since early February at $1.3655 to sterling. It last stood at $0.73390 per Aussie and $1.36685 versus the pound.
The yen outpaced the dollar, rising to 109.07 per greenback on Monday for the first time since late May, helped by a precipitous slide in benchmark U.S. Treasury yields to as low as 1.1740% for the first time since mid-February. On Tuesday, one buck bought 109.555 yen. The euro underperformed the dollar, dipping overnight to the lowest since early April at $1.1764 before last trading at $1.17965.
hares in Asia-Pacific fell in Tuesday morning trade following an overnight tumble for stocks on Wall Street that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging more than 700 points.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.63% while the Topix index fell 0.79%. South Korea’s Kospi declined 0.31%. Mainland Chinese stocks were lower in early trading, with the Shanghai composite 0.56% lower while the Shenzhen component shed 0.18%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was near the flatline.
The S&P/ASX 200 in Australia dropped 0.37%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan traded 0.19% lower. Overnight stateside, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 725.81 points to 33,962.04 while the S&P 500 slipped 1.59% to 4,258.49. The Nasdaq Composite fell 1.06% to 14,274.98.
Oil slumped $5 a barrel on Monday, closing out its worst day since March, after an OPEC+ agreement to boost output stoked fears of a surplus just as rising COVID-19 infections once again threaten demand.
Brent crude settled at $68.62 a barrel, losing $4.97, or 6.8%. U.S. oil futures for August delivery, which expires on Tuesday, settled at $66.42, down $5.39, or 7.5%. The September U.S. crude oil futures contract settled at $66.35, down $5.21.
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