In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 closed up by 0.8%, with the majority of sectors and all major bourses in positive territory. Travel and leisure stocks led the gains with a 2% jump. German lighting firm Osram, rose by about 11.5%, to the top of the European blue chip index, amid takeover speculation. Wartsila was among the worst performers, falling almost 3% after J.P. Morgan cut its stock from “overweight” to “underweight” and cut its price target due to concerns about earnings growth.
In Currency Markets the Canadian dollar strengthened against its U.S. counterpart on Wednesday, approaching a near eight-month high notched last week, as oil prices rose and as domestic data showed a surprise swing in the trade balance to a surplus in May. The Canadian dollar was trading 0.3% higher at 1.3066 to the greenback, or 76.53 U.S. cents. The currency, which touched on Friday a near eight-month high at 1.3060, traded in a range of 1.3066 to 1.3119. The loonie has benefited in recent weeks from data showing a recovery in the domestic economy.
In Commodities Markets oil prices rebounded on Wednesday after a steep fall in the previous session when OPEC and its allies’ decision to extend output cuts was not enough to counter investors’ concerns about the slowing global economy. Brent crude futures for September delivery were trading up 95 cents at $63.35 a barrel. U.S. crude futures for August were up 76 cents at $57.01 a barrel. Ahead of government data due later on Wednesday, industry group the API said that U.S. crude inventories fell by 5 million barrels last week, more than the expected decrease of 3 million barrels.
In US Equity Markets the S&P 500 index hit a record high on Wednesday, led by defensive sectors, as bets of an interest rate cut rose on fears of a slowing global economy due to simmering trade tensions. The S&P 500 gained 0.25%, to 2,980.39. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.28%, to 8,131.99. The healthcare sector gained 0.38%, the biggest boost to the S&P 500. Tesla Inc rose 6.4% after the electric carmaker set a record for quarterly vehicle deliveries in a triumphant response to months of questions about demand for its luxury electric cars.
In Bond Markets U.S. Treasury yields fell on Wednesday with 10-year yields hitting their lowest in over 2-1/2 years as euro zone yields tumbled on record lows on bets the European Central Bank’s next chief would stay a dovish course to help the euro zone economy. Benchmark 10-year Treasury yields were down 2.50 basis points at 1.952%. They touched 1.939% earlier as 10-year German bund yields reached a record low at -0.399%. The U.S. bond market will close early, at 2 p.m. EDT, on Wednesday, ahead of the U.S. July Fourth holiday on Thursday.