US equity contracts fluctuated in the wake of a record S&P 500 close on robust earnings which have weathered the spread of the more contagious Covid-19 variant as well as a burst of inflation attributed to pandemic-linked bottlenecks. Focus is on the key US jobs data due later in the week (Friday) which could stoke market swings if they lead investors to adjust expectations over the Federal Reserve’s likely timeline for eventually tapering stimulus. The 10-year US Treasury yield held its retreat falling 1.17% after it dipped as low as 1.15%. The S&P 500 SPX overcame a wobbly start to finish 0.8% higher, at 4,423.15 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA added 0.8% to 35,116.40 and the Nasdaq composite COMP picked up 0.6% to close at 14,761.29.
In Asia, stocks edged up Wednesday as concerns over China’s latest technology clampdown eased. Stocks in Hong Kong rallied after Chinese state media tempered language attacking gaming companies, bolstering the likes of Tencent Holdings. The Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index and China’s Shanghai Composite index rose 1.6% and 0.6% respectively while the 10-year yield in Japan fell to zero for the first time since December.
As the United States and China, the world’s two biggest oil consumers, are grappling with rapidly spreading outbreaks of the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant, analysts fear this will limit fuel demand at a time when it traditionally rises in both countries. US oil prices fell for a third day on Wednesday while Brent futures were largely unchanged on mounting concerns that the increasing spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus in top consuming countries will cut fuel demand. U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 7 cents, or 0.1, to $70.49/bbl, as of 0647 GMT. Brent crude oil futures added 1 cent to $72.42/bbl. Both futures fell on Tuesday to their lowest since July 21 before regaining some ground by the close of day.
Rwanda has raised $620 million in its second-ever Eurobond, the Ministry of Finance has confirmed. Officials say that the bond’s issuance was over-subscribed receiving orders of over $1.6 billion. Part of the proceeds will also go into funding priority projects that will support recovery following the slowdown triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as strategic investments in health and agriculture to enable export growth. Other considerations, government said, include safeguarding environmental protection and mitigating the adverse effects of climate change. According to officials, a significant part of the demand for the bond was from existing bondholders of the 2013 bond who tendered 84.5 per cent of their existing holdings. This is Rwanda’s second Eurobond following the inaugural one issued in 2013 of $400 million that was due to mature in 2023.