Asian shares stumble, sterling at mercy

Asian shares drifted lower on Wednesday as a risk-off mood settled on markets, while a frazzled pound awaited its fate ahead of yet another make-or-break parliamentary vote on Brexit.

Asian shares

  • MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan (MIAPJ0000PUS) eased 0.45 percent in slow trade.
  • Japan’s Nikkei (N225) led the retreat with a fall of 1.2 percent.
  • Shanghai blue chips (CSI300) slipped 0.5 percent following two days of gains.
  • E-Mini futures for the S&P 500 (ESc1) were off 0.2 percent.

Currency

  • The pound could do with some comfort after a wild couple of sessions. It was last at $1.3089.
  • The dollar drifted off to 111.28.
  • The euro marked time at $1.1287 (EUR=) having bounced from last week’s 20-month trough of $1.1174.

Commodities

In commodity markets, the dip in the dollar helped gold reach its highest in two weeks.

  • Gold last fetching $1,305.09 per ounce.
  • U.S. crude firmed 30 cents to $57.17 a barrel.
  • Brent crude (LCOc1) futures added 21 cents to $66.88.

Bonds

  • Yields on U.S. 10-year notes (US10YT=RR) duly declined to a 10-week low at 2.596 percent.

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