Asian markets Slip, led by Hang Seng’s slide

Asian markets fell in early trading Thursday, following losses on Wall Street and turmoil in Hong Kong. Asian shares were led lower on Thursday as the Hong Kong market fell for second consecutive session following a day of massive street protests, while oil prices flirted with five-month lows due to higher U.S. crude inventories and a bleak demand outlook.

Hopes that the United States and China will clinch a deal on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit meeting in Osaka on June 28-29 have been fading, also hurting sentiment and driving bond yields down.

Asian markets

  • Japan’s Nikkei lost 0.8% while U.S. stock futures lost 0.3% in Asia.
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropped 1.5% following Wednesday’s 1.7% fall.
  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell as much as 1%.

Currencies

The British pound is on the back foot after British lawmakers defeated an attempt led by the opposition Labour Party to try to block a no-deal Brexit by seizing control of the parliamentary agenda from the government.

  • In the currency market, the yen gained 0.25% to 108.25.
  • Sterling fetched $1.2688, not far from this week’s low of $1.2653.
  • The euro stood little changed at $1.1293.
  • The Australian dollar dropped 0.2% to $0.6913.

Bonds

  • The 10-year U.S. Treasuries yield dipped to 2.103 percent, near Friday’s 2.053 percent, its lowest level since September 2017.
  • In Australia, long known for its high-yield currency, yields fell to record lows, with three-year yield now slipping below 1%.

Commodities

“It is a bit of mystery that oil prices are so low when global stock prices remain relatively supported. But one thing is certain. Weaker oil prices will curb inflation and boost rate cut expectations,” said Daiwa’s Kabeya.

  • U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures stood at $51.12 per barrel.
  • Gold rose 0.1% to $1,334.41 an ounce.

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