Asian shares tumbled on Wednesday; Oil and gold
Asian shares tumbled on Wednesday, while oil, safe-haven Treasury prices and gold shot higher after Iran fired rockets at U.S.-led forces in Iraq, stoking fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East.
- MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.72%, having dropped more than 1% earlier in the day.
- China’s blue-chip CSI300 index was 1.18% lower.
- Japan’s Nikkei dipped 1.57%, paring earlier losses of more than 2%.
- Australian shares clawed back from a more-than-1% drop to shed 0.13%.
- U.S. S&P500 e-mini stock futures, which had earlier tumbled nearly 1.7%, were down 0.38%.
- The yield on benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury notes last stood at 1.7742%, down from a U.S. close of 1.825% on Tuesday, but up from session lows. U.S. 10-year Treasury futures had earlier peaked at their highest level since November, and were last up 0.29%.
- The two-year yield fell to 1.5061% compared with a U.S. close of 1.546%.
- The yen, which had hit its strongest point against the greenback since October in morning trade, gave up most of its gains later in the day.
- The U.S. currency was last down 0.11% against the yen at 108.30.
- The euro was 0.03% weaker, buying $1.1147.
- The dollar index, which measures the greenback against six major peers, was 0.06% lower at 96.949.
In commodity markets, global benchmark Brent crude futures shot back above $70 per dollar to their highest level since mid-September in the initial hours after Iran’s strikes.
They were last up 1.08% at $69.01 per barrel, while U.S. crude added 0.96% to $63.30 a barrel.
“I don’t think many investors try and anticipate global politics, especially when it involves Trump … they are probably more inclined to price things in as they come,” said Hasan Tevfik, senior research analyst at MST Marquee.
Gold also fell below a key psychological level as initial fears eased. The precious metal was 1.30% higher on the spot market at $1,594.33 per ounce, having earlier blasted through $1,600.