Gold Hits New Record, Oil Rises on Mideast Tension: Markets Wrap

image is BloomburgMedia_S7074QDWX2PS00_12-04-2024_06-00-09_638484768000000000.jpg

An electronic stock board displayed inside the Kabuto One building in Tokyo, Japan, on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2024. Japanese stocks fall on their first trading day of the year after US shares slumped on Federal Reserve meeting minutes indicating interest rates will remain elevated for longer, and as a powerful earthquake in Japan’s northwest coast on New Year’s Day weighs on investor sentiment. Photographer: Akio Kon/Bloomberg

Gold climbed to a fresh record and oil resumed gains as tensions in the Middle East simmered once again.

Markets are digesting a raft of news from US inflation data to the imminent start of earnings season for American companies. In addition, Iran may be close to launching missile or drone strikes on Israeli targets in response to a deadly attack on its diplomatic compound in Syria last week.

“Overall, there’s a lot of uncertainty right now for markets to deal with,” said Vishnu Varathan, chief economist for Asia ex-Japan at Mizuho Bank in Singapore. “Spots of sticky inflation are lingering uncomfortably despite elevated global rates. Geopolitical troubles mean unwelcome energy-led shocks persist.”

The 10-year Treasury yield fell about three basis points Friday after rising around 22 basis points in the previous two sessions. Data Thursday showed US producer prices in March increased less than forecast, after consumer-price growth came in hotter than expected earlier in the week.


Equities in Asia traded mixed. Japanese stocks rose, driven by a surging real estate sector as buybacks and higher return-on-equity targets boost investor sentiment. Australian, South Korean and Hong Kong shares traded lower.

Traders will continue to monitor the yen after Japanese authorities warned they will consider all options to combat weakness in the currency after it slumped to the weakest level against the dollar since 1990. It was little changed on Friday.

Investors will also be closely watching the offshore yuan after it advanced against the greenback for a fourth time in five trading sessions. The People’s Bank of China kept its fixing steady on Friday to maintain currency stability amid the dollar’s broader strength.

US futures were steady in Asia trading after the S&P 500 climbed Thursday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 closed over 1.5% higher. US corporate earnings are also in focus as several major banks will report on Friday, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Citigroup Inc.


Wall Street projects S&P 500 members will show 3.8% annual growth in earnings per share for the first-quarter reporting period, data compiled by Bloomberg Intelligence show. Profits for the “Magnificent Seven” cohort — Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc., Inc., Nvidia Corp., Meta Platforms Inc. and Tesla Inc. — are on course to rise 38% in the first quarter, according to BI.

“It’s not going to be Federal Reserve rate cuts that drive the market going forward, rather it’s going to be earnings,” said George Ball, chairman of Sanders Morris. “Corporate earnings are much stronger than people have anticipated even in this elevated interest-rate environment.”

Still, some sticky inflation readings have prompted market players to slash Federal Reserve rate-cut bets. Swaps traders now see around 43 basis points of cuts from the Fed in 2024 versus roughly 65 basis points before the CPI release. 

The 11-month high in US producer prices may have added to worries the economy is still running hot, but did assuage some concerns about the prospect of runaway inflation, according to Quincy Krosby, Chief Global Strategist for LPL Financial. 

“The PPI headline number came in a touch lower than estimates, helping markets ease fears of a broad based inflation assault on supply chain prices in addition to consumer prices,” she said.

WATCH: Matthew Michelini, Head of Asia-Pacific at Apollo Global Management, shares the firm’s strategy, and his thoughts on China and Japan markets.Source: Bloomberg

Key events this week:

  • China trade, Friday
  • US University of Michigan consumer sentiment, Friday
  • Citigroup, JPMorgan and Wells Fargo due to report results, Friday.
  • San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly speaks, Friday

Some of the main moves in markets:


  • S&P 500 futures were little changed as of 1:15 p.m. Tokyo time
  • Nikkei 225 futures (OSE) rose 0.6%
  • Japan’s Topix rose 0.5%
  • Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.2%
  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 1.7%
  • The Shanghai Composite was little changed
  • Euro Stoxx 50 futures rose 0.7%
  • Nasdaq 100 futures were little changed


  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index rose 0.1%
  • The euro was little changed at $1.0717
  • The Japanese yen was little changed at 153.23 per dollar
  • The offshore yuan was little changed at 7.2566 per dollar
  • The Australian dollar fell 0.1% to $0.6529


  • Bitcoin rose 0.6% to $70,904.21
  • Ether rose 0.3% to $3,534.45


  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined two basis points to 4.57%
  • Japan’s 10-year yield declined two basis points to 0.840%
  • Australia’s 10-year yield advanced three basis points to 4.29%


  • West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.7% to $85.65 a barrel
  • Spot gold rose 0.5% to $2,384.39 an ounce

This story was produced with the assistance of Bloomberg Automation.

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Divya Patil , Richard Henderson


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