In the U.S, equities traded lower as megacap technology stocks including Apple Inc & Microsoft tumbled ahead of their earnings reports due after market close. The tech-heavy NASDAQ 100 was heading to its biggest one day drop in more than two months as all three of the major American indexes fell from their all-time highs. The DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE ended Tuesday down 0.2% while the S&P 500 shed about 0.5%. Yields on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes rose a little to 1.2478% from a U.S. close of 1.234% on Tuesday.
In Asia, stocks extended declines on Wednesday as a rout in China and a mixed response to major U.S. technology earnings spurred caution. MSCI Inc.’s Asia-Pacific equity gauge fell to the lowest since December as Chinese equities slipped. Some modest gains in Hong Kong provided little succor after this week’s plunge on a regulatory crackdown. The Hang Seng Tech Index plunged as much as 10% in Hong Kong while the yuan slid to its weakest since April against the dollar.
Oil prices rose as industry data showed U.S crude and product inventories fell more sharply than expected last week, outweighing worries about the consequences of surging COVID-19 cases. U.S. crude ticked up 0.73% to $72.17/bbl and Brent crude rose 0.54% to $74.93/bbl. Global inventories are expected to tighten through the remainder of 2021 as key countries in the market continue their economic recovery from COVID-19. However, surging numbers of cases involving the virus’ Delta variant has led many countries to reimpose restrictive measures and it seems oil may be set to record its second monthly loss since October 2020.
Nigeria’s central bank held its key interest rate for a fifth meeting to aid an economic recovery in Africa’s biggest oil producer, after inflation eased from a four-year high. The monetary policy committee kept the rate at 11.5%, Governor Godwin Emefiele said on Tuesday in a virtual briefing from the capital, Abuja. That matched the forecast of all six analysts in a Bloomberg survey. Also announced by the Governor at the briefing is, Nigeria is set to launch its digital currency which will be called the e-naira and will complement existing types of money and not replace it. He further stated that balances of banks will be converted to digital currency as “Use of cash” is declining everywhere in the world, just as in Nigeria.