Disappointing Japanese export data helped pull down Asian markets on Wednesday, but the losses were moderate. The Nikkei declined .3% to 9132, the Kospi slumped .4% to 1935, and the ASX 200 eased .2% to 4376. The Shanghai Composite dropped .5% to 2108, and the Hang Seng sank 1.1% to 19888, pressured by weak corporate earnings.
US stocks closed mixed, after staging a recovery rally late in the day, after the FOMC minutes indicated that another round of stimulus is very likely. The Dow settled down 31 points to 13173, the Nasdaq rose .2% to 3074, and the S&P 500 ended flat at 1413.
Dell shares tanked 5.4% to 11.68 after cutting its guidance. Home builders rallied 4% after Toll Brothers reported a significant jump in new orders.
Treasuries and Commodities
Bonds rallied, lifted by hopes for another round of bond purchasing by the Fed. 10-year notes climbed 28/32 to yield 1.70%, and 30-year notes advanced 1 23/32 to yield 2.81%.
Energy gained, led by natural gas which jumped 2.9% to 2.856. Gasoline pushed up 1.6% to 3.1132, and crude oil rose .5% to 97.30.
Silver advanced 1.4% to 29.83, continuing its recent rally. Gold jumped .9% to 1654.70, and copper rose .7% to 3.4755.
The Dollar dropped following the release of the FOMC minutes. The Yen surged 1% to 78.54, thanks to the strong correlation between bond prices and the Yen’s value. The Pound gained .5% to 1.5864, and the Euro and Swiss Franc ticked up .4% to 1.5864 and .9595 respectively.
Existing home sales rose to 4.47 million from 4.37 million, but fell short of forecasts for 4.52 million.
Thursday’s reports will include weekly unemployment claims, and flash manufacturing PMI from countries across the globe.