In European Equity Markets the pan-European Stoxx 600 ended Thursday’s trade marginally higher with, telecoms leading gains with a 0.8% climb while utilities stocks fell 0.9% at the close. Shares of Italian banks Unicredit and Ubi Banca climbed 4.3% following Italy’s EU respite, while Norwegian fish farm company SalMar topped the Stoxx 600 with a 5.6% rise after a promising second quarter trading update.
In Currency Markets the euro was stuck near two-week lows on Thursday and the dollar drifted away from recent highs as sliding government bond yields pressured both currencies. The euro traded slightly higher at $1.1286. It has weakened since IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, perceived as a policy dove, was nominated as the next European Central Bank president. The Aussie was down 0.1% to $0.7022 after earlier hitting a two-month high.
In Commodities Markets oil prices fell on Thursday, weighed down by data showing a smaller-than-expected draw on U.S. crude stockpiles along with worries about the global economy. Front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 31 cents or 0.49% at $63.51 per barrel. Brent closed up 2.3% on Wednesday. U.S. WTI crude futures were down 51 cents or 0.89% at $56.83 per barrel. WTI closed up 1.9% on Wednesday.
In US Equity Markets trading was closed due the U.S. July Fourth holiday.
In Bond Markets Germany’s benchmark 10-year government bond yield fell below the European Central Bank’s deposit rate for the first time on Thursday, the latest sign that markets are braced for interest rate cuts soon. Earlier this week Britain’s 10-year government bond yield fell below the Bank of England’s bank rate for the first time in a decade after dovish comments from BoE Governor Mark Carney.