Asia-Pacific markets were mostly higher on Thursday as investors absorb Fed minutes.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.21%, Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.40%, and the South Korea’s KOSPI advanced 1.96% after closing more than 2% lower on Wednesday.
Samsung Electronics shares rose 3.5% after the company released earnings guidance for the Q2 of 2022. Operating profit likely rose to 14.1 trillion won ($10.8 billion) in the April to June quarter, up from 12.57 trillion won a year ago.
China markets were mixed as COVID-19 concerns came back into focus. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.50%, while the Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped 0.40%.
U.S. markets gained slightly on Wednesday stateside. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.23%, to 31,037.68. The S&P 500 advanced 0.36% to 3,845.08, and the Nasdaq Composite added 39.61 points, or 0.35%, to 11,361.85.
European stocks are also expected to open higher later today, building on gains in the previous session.
Oil prices rose on Thursday, after slumped in the last two session to a three-month low, as fears of a potential global recession spurred concerns about oil demand despite tight global supplies.
Both benchmarks closed on Wednesday at their lowest since early April. The declines follow a dramatic fall on Tuesday. WTI slid 8% while Brent tumbled 9%, a $10.73 drop that was the third biggest for the contract since it started trading in 1988.
Latest, the Brent crude futures rose 1.34%, to $101.14 a barrel by after tumbling to a session low of $98.50 earlier. WTI crude futures added 0.77%, to $98.96 a barrel.
Industry data by API on Wednesday showed that U.S. crude inventories rose by about 3.8 million barrels last week. Gasoline inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels, while distillate stocks fell by about 635,000 barrels.
Investors awaited U.S. government data due later today that will further shed light on the state of domestic oil and fuel inventories.
The dollar index was flat near fresh 20-year highs reached overnight, last changing hands at 106.833.
Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields steadied at 2.915%, while the two-year Treasury yields hovered at 2.9691%. The key parts of the yield curve remained inverted, showing the bond market is pointing to a slowdown in growth as rate hikes hit.
Bitcoin rose 1.67% and was last trading at $20,410. Ether rose 3% to $1,171.
Gold prices edged up on Thursday from nine-month lows touched in the previous session after the dollar paused its rally, alleviating pressure on greenback-priced bullion.
Spot gold had firmed 0.45% to $1,746.70 per ounce, rose off its lowest level since Sept 30 overnight. U.S. gold futures rose 0.36% to $1,742.70.
Spot silver firmed 0.1% to $19.20 per ounce, platinum fell 0.3% to $853.25, and palladium gained 1.3% to $1,929.51. Copper climbed after hitting a near 20-month low in the previous session.
Asian stocks were mostly higher on Thursday as investors watch for market reaction on the U.S. central bank's approach to rate policy and its inflation fight detailed in the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting.
Investors juggled concerns over inflation versus a recession after Federal Reserve minutes showed officials rallied around a large rate hike at their June meeting. The Fed has been hiking rates aggressively, and minutes of June's meeting revealed their concern that worsening inflation would erase faith in the Fed's ability to control it.
Federal Reserve officials recognized that a “more restrictive stance” in policy could be suitable if inflation doesn’t ease, even if it slows the economy, the meeting minutes said. Fed officials also said a hike of 50 or 75 basis points would be likely at the July meeting.
Economic data out on Wednesday showed U.S. job openings had fallen less than expected in May, pointing to a still tight labor market that could keep the Fed on the offensive. The next big data point is on Friday’s jobs report for June, with expectation to add 268,000 non-farm payrolls during the month.
The global rate tightening seen over recent months, led by the Fed, have stoked recession fears, and hurt growth-sensitive commodities such as copper, oil, and iron ore. Oil struggled to stay above $100 a barrel, dropping to a 12-week low earlier in the trading day. The euro has also been hammered as investors see Europe as ground zero for a global slowdown.
COVID-19 concerns came back into focus in Asia as new cases in Shanghai risking fresh restrictions. Beijing city said COVID-19 vaccinations would be required to enter sports centers, entertainment venues and more starting next week.