Friday, 31 August 2012
Asian shares fell on Friday as investors cooled expectations that Bernanke will offer any signal of a further monetary stimulus when he speaks at an annual Jackson Hole meeting of central bankers later in the day.
The US accelerate their losses in the final minutes of trading to close near session lows, with the S&P 500 closing just below the key 1,400 level, a day ahead of the Fed's Jackson Hole meeting and following reports that Spain may delay its decision on seeking a bailout. The CBOE volatility index jumped to close near 18.
Benchmark 10-year notes were trading 10/32 higher in price to yield 1.62 percent, down from 1.65 percent late Wednesday. The notes have rallied from a yield of 1.86 percent at the beginning of last week, but remain above a record low of 1.38 percent reached on July 25.
The euro stood at $1.2502, near its low so far this week, though it looks likely to end up on the month as hopes that the European Central Bank could start buying Spanish bonds to lower Madrid's borrowing costs have supported the currency.
U.S. crude futures were steady after falling 0.9 percent a day earlier as Hurricane Isaac, now a much weaker tropical depression, was seen posing no further threat to most energy infrastructure on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The most active December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.5 percent to 55,420 yuan ($8,700) per tonne, catching up with previous losses in London. It is on track to post a 1.2 percent rise on the month.
London copper was on track to snap four sessions of losses on Friday, edging up as investors covered short positions ahead of the Jackson Hole meeting of central bankersthat they hope will offer trading cues.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,655.41 an ounce not far from a 4-1/2 month high of $1,676.45 hit on Monday, when investors bought the metal on expectation of further monetary easing by the Fed.
Gold held steady on Friday ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who may hint at a third round of U.S. bond-buying to stimulate the economy -- a move which could prompt a turn to bullion as a hedge against inflation.
Thursday, 30 August 2012
Asian shares eased and major currencies stayed range-bound on Thursday as investors avoided betting on direction before a speech by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, with focus on whether there will be any hint about further U.S. stimulus.
The US markets eke out marginal gains following the Fed’s beige book report, but trading was thin and muted throughout most of the session as investors remained cautious ahead of Chairman Bernanke’s speech tomorrow. The CBOE volatility index rose more than 3% to above 17.
The euro started Asian trade in familiar ranges on Thursday as key risk events including the Jackson Hole meeting of central bankers loomed, but investors continued to give commodity currencies a wide berth.
Brent crude prices edged lower in choppy trading on Wednesday, while U.S. oil futures fell on expectations that damage to oil facilities from Hurricane Isaac will be limited and in reaction to data showing a sharp rise in U.S. crude oil stocks.
On the London Metal Exchange (LME), benchmark copper closed at $7,575 a tonne versus a last bid of $7,640 on Tuesday. Earlier, it touched a session low of $7,531, its cheapest in more than a week.
Copper fell to a one-week low in heavy volume on Wednesday, pressured by more signs of economic slowing in top metals consumer China and by nervousness ahead of central bankers meeting later this week.
Gold fell on Wednesday as upwardly revised figures for U.S. economic growth triggered profit-taking in the precious metal after its recent rally on speculation of new stimulus from the Federal Reserve.
Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Asian shares steadied on Wednesday as investors awaited Bernanke's Friday speech for signs of whether the bank will opt for more monetary stimulus and a European Central Bank policy meeting next week.