In European Equity Markets the pan-European STOXX 600 index closed provisionally almost 0.4% higher, with most major bourses and sectors in positive territory. Looking at individual stocks, shares of German online retailer Zalando rose to the top of the European benchmark, gaining nearly 11% after the firm said it expected to post an operating profit for the first quarter. UniCredit also rose following a $1.3 billion settlement with U.S. authorities over alleged sanctions violations. Shares of the Italian bank were up nearly 3%.
In Currency Markets the euro fell against the dollar on Tuesday after reports that a “significant minority” of European Central Bank policymakers think the bank’s economic projections are too optimistic. Several ECB policymakers said the bank’s economic projections are too rosy as weak growth in China and trade tensions linger, four sources with direct knowledge of discussions said. Sterling also slipped after the Guardian newspaper reported that talks between Prime Minister Theresa May and the opposition Labour Party regarding Britain’s exit from the European Union had stalled.
In Commodities Markets oil prices were steady on Tuesday, as fighting in Libya and falling Venezuelan and Iranian exports raised concerns over tightening global supply, but uncertainty surrounding an OPEC-led production cut limited gains. Brent crude futures lost 2 cents to $71.16 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 12 cents to $63.52 a barrel. In Libya, fighting between Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army and the internationally-recognized government has raised the prospect of lower supplies from the OPEC member.
In US Equity Markets stocks rose on Tuesday, powered by stellar results from healthcare conglomerate Johnson & Johnson and gains in technology stocks, with the benchmark S&P 500 less than a percent away from its all-time high. Johnson & Johnson gained 2.7% after beating quarterly profit estimates and raising adjusted sales growth forecast for the year. The results helped healthcare, the worst performing sector this year, gain 0.69%. The S&P 500 was up 0.31%, at 2,914.48 and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.36%, at 8,004.77.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields rose to four-week highs on Tuesday, bolstered by gains on Wall Street that have raised appetite for risk, as well as expectations of more positive U.S. and Chinese economic data this week. In a week shortened by the Good Friday holiday, investors are awaiting U.S. retail sales data on Thursday. U.S. 10-year note yields rose to 2.58%, up from 2.55% late on Monday. Ten-year yields hit a four-week peak of 2.587%.
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