Asian markets traded mixed, but the losses were limited. The Nikkei eased .1% to 8851, the Kospi declined .2% to 1826, and the ASX 200 closed down fractionally. The Shanghai Composite advanced .5% to2175, as pharmaceutical companies surged on upbeat earnings expectations, while the Hang Seng inched up .1% to 19420.
European markets also experienced a mixed close. The CAC40 slumped .6% to 3175, while the DAX edged up .2% to 6454, and the FTSE ended flat at 5664. Burberry shares sank 7.4% after warning of a slowdown in sales, pressuring luxury goods companies.
US stocks closed lower, but were well off their session lows, as investors expressed their disappointment after the Fed’s minutes revealed no new plans of easing. The Dow declined 49 points to 12605, after dropping as much as 119 points at one point during the afternoon. The Nasdaq dropped .5% to 2888, and the S&P 500 ended flat at 1341.
HHGregg plunged 36.4% after cutting its outlook for the year. Shares of its competitor, Best Buy, sank 8.4%.
Treasuries and Commodities
Bonds ended slightly lower, as 10-year notes eased 2/32 to yield 1.51%, and 30-year notes edged down 1/32 to yield 2.60%.
The Treasury auctioned $21 billion in 10-year notes, and the auction was unusually well-received. The bid-to-cover ration was 3.61, and the high-yield was 1.459%.
Energy-related commodities rallied after the weekly crude oil inventory report showed a drop of 4.7M barrels, vastly exceeding the 1.3M barrel drop expected by analysts. Crude oil advanced 2.7% to 86.15, natural gas jumped 4.1% to 2.849, and gasoline rose 1.1% to 2.7764.
Copper rose 1% to 3426, silver gained .7% to 27.065, while gold slipped .2% to 1576.80.
Commodity-related currencies gained on Wednesday, as the Australian Dollar rose .5% to 1.0247, and the Canadian Dollar advanced .3% to 1.0196. European currencies eased slightly, as the Pound, Euro, and Swiss Franc all declined less than .1%. The Yen slid .4% to 79.70.
Wholesale inventories rose .3% last month, slightly less than expected.
Thursday’s reports will include weekly unemployment claims, and import & export prices.